Christopher Jameson began collecting sports memorabilia when he was a child. He rediscovered the hobby as an adult, and that passion has now turned into a business venture at Cj’s Sports Collectibles in downtown Milledgeville.
Jameson began selling memorabilia online five years ago while living in his native New England. When his wife’s job brought him from New Hampshire to Milledgeville, Jameson decided to leave his career in corporate security and dedicate himself to his memorabilia business. With a new start in a new town, he told his wife he wanted to take the business in a new direction.
“I told her, ‘I’d like to take my online stuff and work toward an actual brick and mortar store.’”
Last month, Jameson’s dream became a reality when he opened the doors to Cj’s Sports Collectibles at 136 S. Wayne St. After working hard to renovate the space entirely on his own, Jameson is already seeing the benefits that come with downtown foot traffic.
“It’s actually very humbling how many people are walking through and just checking everything out,” said Jameson.
Cj’s Sports Collectibles carries a variety of memorabilia, with many pieces in the store coming directly from Jameson’s personal collection. For him, the store is his opportunity to connect with fellow collectors and help them procure the items they are looking for.
“That’s really my passion,” said Jameson. “I love helping people grow their collections.”
Jameson’s personal passion is football, and Cj’s Sports Collectibles has numerous autographed jerseys, helmets, mini-helmets and more. Jameson even has football pylons signed by NFL players.
“That’s not something you see all the time, so I thought it was pretty cool,” said Jameson.
In addition to his NFL merchandise, Jameson can help collectors connect to sought-after items from athletes in most any other sport. Jameson obtains items through online auctions and by working with other colleagues in the industry. He maintains a regular working relationship with R&B Sports, the owner of which travels all over the country to signings held by various athletes. When Jameson learns of these signings, he advertises them in the store and on the store’s Facebook page so customers can request items to be signed and shipped to Cj’s Sports Collectibles. Customers can also have Jameson mail items to R&B Sports to have them signed and shipped back for pick-up at Cj’s.
In addition to sports items, Cj’s Sports Collectibles carries various movie memorabilia such as autographed movie photos. Jameson is also a big fan of the horror film industry, and he has already taken advantage of attending fan conventions in Atlanta that he did not have access to in New Hampshire. Jameson will attend Comic-Con and Days of the Dead in Atlanta later this year to continue to find items for the store and local movie enthusiasts.
One of the more unique items at Cj’s Sports Collectibles are the 3D movie-themed models depicting scenes from classic films such as “Friday the 13th,” “Jaws” and “The Shining.” Jameson’s brother, Craig, makes the models on a 3D printer and hand paints them. Jameson has already had some of them autographed by film actors related to the scenes depicted in the models. He hopes to be able to fill custom orders for the 3D models whenever possible.
For all of the autographed inventory at Cj’s Sports Collectibles, Jameson pays special attention to the authentication process. He says that authentication companies often provide onsite services at fan conventions allowing him to have the autographs authenticated immediately upon acquiring them. Items are marked with a sticker and have a corresponding card with the authentication number on them. Jameson sees this is an investment in the items he acquires that protects both himself and his customers from forgery.
“Before I put anything out for sale, I always make sure it’s good,” said Jameson.
Another product Cj’s Sports Collectibles offers is a variety of trading card options ranging from baseball cards to Pokémon and Magic the Gathering. Jameson welcomes feedback from the community on what trading cards are in demand so that he can continue to stock the items his local customers seek.
“I’m really looking to cater to the community and what everyone wants,” said Jameson.
As Jameson plans for the future, he has his sights set on some exciting opportunities as COVID-19 case numbers subside enough to host more in-person events. He has been working at making connections with various agents in the hopes of bringing athletes and movie actors to the store for signing events.
In April, Jameson is holding a raffle for a custom University of Georgia jersey signed by former UGA player and current NFL running back Sony Michel. Those interested in being in the drawing can stop by the store to put their name in. No purchase is necessary, and one ticket is allowed per person.
Jameson is excited about what the future holds. He invites everyone to stop by Cj’s Sports Collectibles and counts customer interactions as one of his favorite parts of the business.
“I love this more than the online because of the interaction with the people,” said Jameson. “It’s fun for me. It is the job that is enjoyable. It’s not a like a job when it’s like that.”
Cj’s Sports Collectibles
136 S. Wayne St., Milledgeville
Facebook: Cj’s Sports Collectibles
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10am to 6pm