Running a small business means spending a lot of time with your business partners. But what if your business partner was also your actual partner?

“Most people can't believe that we don't kill each other, being together twenty-four-seven, but it is nice being together all the time,” says Brad Helms of his partner, Robin Cross. Together the pair operate Time and Again, a new antiques shop in Bellevue. “Working with Robin is the most fun ever. We have been together for over 11 years and it just keeps getting better.”

A lifelong collector, Cross bought his first antique at age 15 while on a road trip to Missouri, and Helms recalls Cross's house being full of antiques when they first met.

"He was clinging on to them as we sold them one by one," Helms says. "I taught him that it was okay to part with some things.” After getting a great response at their estate sales, they opened a shop in their hometown of Donalsonville, Ga.

Helms and Cross came to Nashville to help out a friend’s construction contracts after the flood in 2010. “She originally wanted us to help for 30 days,” Helms remembers. “Needless to say, it lasted quite longer.” Working in River Walk, River Plantation, and Beach Bend, the couple became familiar with the area and jumped at the chance to take over the space previously occupied by the Bellevue Antiques Mall.

“The thing I like most about owning a store is the different types of people you meet on a daily basis,” Helms says. “From all walks of life, everyone has a story to tell.” Each item in Time and Again’s exciting collection of antiques and consignments has a story to tell as well, including the Tibetan Prince Carrier that Helms says was owned by Jimmy Buffet’s manager and used to carry royal children thought the streets.

Time and Again is settling in well and the future is bright. “We are getting more customers and buying items on a daily basis,” says Helms. “We plan to have a garden area outside once spring arrives. The Cottage Café has expanded into our shop allowing customers to shop and eat lunch all in one stop.”

Time and Again is located at 158 Belle Forest Circle in Nashville, next door to the Cottage Café and the Cottage Antiques.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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