Prized artwork and precious metals seek new homes in Southwest Florida

When one thinks of “treasure hunting,” images of sword-swinging pirates and metal detectors racing over the beach may come to mind. But for most modern-day treasure hunters, the search happens in air-conditioned strip malls, where thrift and resale stores offer a thrilling prospect of treasure hiding in plain sight.

Valuable items once housed in Naples-area homes have made their way to the shelves of Guadalupe Resale Shop, an upscale resale store in North Naples specializing in like-new furniture, clothing and home décor. The Resale Shop regularly receives donations of designer labels, fine jewelry, antique curiosities and high-quality furnishings. On occasion, though, there is a proverbial shimmer of gold in the pan, and something that may have once been pricey turns out to be priceless.

Fortunately, these treasures aren’t falling into unwitting hands. The Resale Shop has a history of pairing valuable décor with savvy buyers. In 2019, for instance, Toronto-based art collector Ron Woods purchased an original oil painting by S. Lewiston, valued at $2,000, for a bargain price of $175. The painting, one of Lewiston’s signature tableaus of the Venetian canals, now hangs in the library at St. Joseph’s Villa, a retirement community in Dundas, Ontario. Just one year later, international gallery curator Aldo Castillo discovered “Janet,” a lifelike statue by prolific hyperrealist sculptor Marc Sijan, in the Resale Shop’s front window. Castillo, a Naples resident, had been a longtime donor to Resale Shop, and thus was not surprised to find such an extraordinary piece of art on display. “People in Naples donate some very nice things,” Castillo noted. Much to the joy of local investors and resellers, these “nice things,” especially artwork and jewelry, will only appreciate value over time.

At Guadalupe Resale Shop, it’s more than just the shoppers hawking for treasure who benefit from high-value items. Proceeds help fund the Guadalupe Center’s transformational education programs for low-income students in Immokalee, including the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and the college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. Each is designed to foster personal and academic success, preparing students to be lifelong learners and leaders.

Guadalupe Center serves more than 1,400 students per year, and as more supporters donate high-end items to the Resale Shop, that number will only continue to grow. To put things into perspective, Castillo’s purchase of the “Janet” statue alone provided Guadalupe Center with enough funds to outfit a preschool classroom with a year’s worth of art and music supplies. These remarkable donations are creating opportunities all over the county, and as collectors are finding their next great investment, local children are finding their passion.

Guadalupe Resale Shop accepts donations throughout the year, and all donations are tax-deductible. The Resale Shop also offers free home pickup for large items, such as bedroom furniture and kitchen tables.

You never know who – or what – will wander through the doors of Guadalupe Resale Shop. Even if customers don’t walk away with a priceless treasure, they’ll still have made a difference in the lives of students in Immokalee.

– By Kat McNabb, manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop