By: Jaqueline Gonzalez Photos by: Lillian Reitz
At the corner of Santa Fe and Indiana sits BABA One of a Kind, a not-so-hidden gem filled with a vast array of beautiful antique pieces from India.
The owners, Priti and James Cox, met while James was living in India and working as a real estate developer. After they were married, they elected to move to Corpus Christi, James’ hometown, which Priti decided was the best location to fulfill her passion of opening a large-scale antique shop.
The idea to build this vintage heaven came from traveling through many cities in Texas and noticing the lack of large-scale antique shops. Becoming the leading purveyor of one-of-a-kind antique furniture was not Priti’s first career aspiration, but although she has a law degree, her true love lies with antiques – and the store, which has been in operation for 12 years now, allows her to fulfill her legacy and carry a piece of India with her.
Inside the store, guests are treated to a treasure hunt of antique furniture, doors, and columns that date back to English, Dutch, and Portuguese colonial periods, as well as a variety of trunks in various sizes, support columns, benches, cupboards, chairs, and heavy wooden doors with carvings influenced by western Europeans who once inhabited India. Smaller items include carved support accent beams, coffee, and end tables. The entire selection makes BABA truly an antique lover’s paradise.
The merchandise was carefully hand-chosen, packed, and brought to the United States by Priti and James. The well-thought-out procedure involves the couple traveling to India and Indonesia twice a year to select items to carry in the store. The items are then shipped to Houston in a 40-foot-tall container, where they are loaded into a truck and driven back to Corpus to prepare for sale.
“Every piece has a soul that I validate; every crevice, paint chip, color has seen a world that we haven’t,” Priti says to explain the significance of each piece, “I feel like I know them. Each piece holds a story – who has touched it, how long it has lived, and what it has seen.”
Although Priti understands the pieces in her store are Old World, she stands by the high quality. The handcrafted, one-of-a kind items are mainly made from teak, a durable hardwood native to India that is also resistant to termite attacks, so any piece purchased at BABA is guaranteed to last.
“Most people think they have to live in large homes in order to house an antique piece,” says Priti as she recalls one particular client’s creativity that shocked and inspired her. “She lives in a small 1,000-square-foot home, and she managed to work in five pieces from my store in ways I never would have imagined.”
Priti’s creativity doesn’t fall too far behind. The most eye-catching piece in BABA is a 150-year-old antique teak door with brass embellishments, sitting atop a gray and whitewashed dining table, covered with a layer of glass for the finishing touch – a design Priti imagined when trying to find multiple uses for the many doors in the store.
The passion she feels for her pieces is evident to her growing customer base. “Collectors from all around the United States, as close as Falfurrias and California and as far as Hawaii, are regular customers and love our one-of-a-kind items,” says Priti of the loyal clientele she has built over the last 12 years.
Whether you love antiques and are looking for that perfect piece to add vintage spice to your décor, or you just want to peruse the shop in hopes of finding a true gem, your experience at BABA will be worth every moment.
2756 Santa Fe St, Corpus Christi, TX
361.884.1000 | babaoneofakind.com