Brad Kalmikoff is the owner of Crazy Cool Collectibles at 348 N. Main Street in Mooresville.


He’s a little bit crazy, a little bit cool, a self-described “goof” and an unabashed “mama’s boy.”

He’s Brad Kalmikoff, owner of Crazy Cool Collectibles at 348 N. Main Street in Mooresville. And while the building in which his collectors’ shop is located is a short walking distance from the historic buildings considered Mooresville’s downtown district, Kalmikoff has quickly earned a reputation for being the area’s small-business hype guy.

Just recently he started a Facebook group called Mooresville NC Small Business Spotlight to feature local businesses and let them freely advertise themselves. He popped by a nearby shop — Cosmic Connection, Wellness, Art and Interests — and purchased $100 worth of gift cards and then handed them out to his customers for no particular reason except to be supportive. He has also organized a 30-table local holiday shopping event on December 16 from 10 a.m-4 p.m. at Victory Lanes/The Wobbly Butt on the west side of town.

Kalmikoff also recently championed a social-media effort to question why the Town of Mooresville’s skate park, the largest of its kind in the Southeast, doesn’t advertise that Downtown Mooresville — just a half a mile away — is home to Stardust Skate Shop, which is located right next door to Crazy Cool Collectibles.

Back at his own shop, whether it’s his iconic Simpson’s living room setup or the horror room in the back of the building, Kalmikoff prides himself on having something of interest for nearly everyone.

Don’t go in expecting to find Beanie Babies or new Pokemon cards. Kalmikoff doesn’t work with distributors. Instead, he uses his background in networking, trading and collecting and works with his own collection. He’s been trading since he was a kid.

Kalmikoff followed his parents to North Carolina from Chicago about five years ago. “I had zero plan,” he recalled. “I turned in my two weeks’ notice at my job, sold my house then took two weeks to drive myself here. It was the best time of my life.”

He was successful in jobs he picked up here and there — especially one in which he realized he was a natural at marketing — but he got his big break on Facebook Marketplace when he stumbled across a collection of vintage sports cards that were reasonably priced. “I knew it was an insane collection if it was all real,” he said.

Kalmikoff thought the collection was local, but it turns out he had to drive more than four hours to Georgia for it. Turns out, it was worth it. “It was a gold mine,” he said. “There were cards from the 1940s-1970s, memorabilia and autographs. I got a deal!”

Almost everything displayed in Crazy Cool Collectibles at one point was stockpiled in Kalmikoff’s house. He hoarded merchandise in his garage, and his bedroom was home to what’s now his shop’s horror collection. “I didn’t want this place to be just a store,” he said. “I wanted it to be an experience.”

He nodded to a giant raptor. “I have a giant dinosaur for no reason other than seeing little kids’ faces light up when they see it for the first time,” he said.

Kalmikoff trades with people and lets folks bring their art and unique wares into the store to sell. “You’ll find things in here you’re never gonna find anywhere else,” he said. “I’m not a superstar or a magician. I’m no different than you or anybody else except I have time. I hunt things, but I don’t have to because it all comes to me.”

He said the growth in Mooresville has worked to his advantage because when people move here, they bring a bunch of stuff with them. Kalmikoff prides himself on being big-hearted, honest and fair in trades and purchases. “People might get ripped off going somewhere else,” he said. “I don’t say no to anybody.”

“I joke around, and I like to have a good time. But I love to make friends and get personal, and I can also have really deep conversations with everyone that comes in,” Kalmikoff said.

He looked around at his store. It’s easy to see he likes it here.

“It’s different every day, and there’s no pressure,” he said. “This place lets me be me.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in the December edition of “IFN Monthly.”