Before even walking into the store customers are met with a variety of vintage items placed outside the door.
Once inside, trinkets, dishware, jewelry and other items hang from the ceiling and are perched on antique furniture, boxes and luggage.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe on Attla Way in Kenai opened in July, and shop owner Jeanie Carter said her shop is almost therapeutic, bringing back happy childhood memories through carefully curated items.
“I’ve had people come in and find one platter and they will say, ‘That was my mom’s dishes. I want that,’” Carter said.
Currently Carter has a trunk in the shop that has that “homestead” smell, which reminds people of earlier times.
“It’s a smell that brings memories that triggers happy memories of people’s pasts,” she said.
The shop started with items from Carter’s own home.
“I had so many things that … I felt like were good quality, and I didn’t just want to garage sale them because I knew that they were worth more than a garage sale price,” she said.
She leased a space, gave it a paint job and priced her pieces to sell.
Now she buys items from women’s kitchen tables and customers’ boxes they bring to the shop.
She considers each item she buys to make sure it is something her customers would be interested in purchasing.
Her customers also give suggestions of items to bring into the shop. Some of her best selling pieces are silver spoons, doorknobs, suitcases and boxes. She also carries some clothes and jewelry, which, she said, draws in teen girls. During tourist season, she stocked more Alaska pieces.
“So it’s a good variety store,” she said. “Even the little kids come in and they will look and they get excited.”
Carter said she strives for fair pricing in her shop and learns from her customers about the history of items and also what they’re worth, if she is unsure.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and from noon-5p.m. on Saturdays.