For year’s Donna’s Victorian Gifts in the Blazy Mall has been a destination for unique gifts from all over the world and a delightful place to browse for special decorating ideas. Then a couple of years ago Donna teamed up with world renowned horn carver Tom Cooper of Sterling and opened Two Rusty Ravens. Donna and Tom bought the old 400 sq. ft. Lucky Raven Tobacco cabin and moved it next door to Tom’s place and Two Rusty Ravens antique and gift shop was born. The shop soon out grew its space and this spring Tom poured a 2,000 sq. ft. cement slab right behind the cabin and invisible from the road. Now when you walk into the Two Rusty Raven cabin a small portal opens to a hallway that leads to a huge room filled with all the unique gifts and antiques Donna has become known for. It’s almost like following the white rabbit through the looking glass and into wonderland. “Tom and his buddies started an addition in March, poured the cement and of course we had a snow storm that night but by May we had moved in,” said Donna. The coral blue floor reminds one of walking on the clouds of wonderland, “It wasn’t by intention, but desperation,” explained Tom. We needed to connect the two buildings and we didn’t want to move the cabin so we built a causeway that gives you that tunnel appearance. Tourists stop by and wander into the small cabin and then say ‘Oh my what’s back there!’ And it’s especially surprising is it’s the guys who come here and say ‘Look at this’ and their wives are happy to follow these guys who are hunters and fishermen and stop to see the horns and stones,” said Tom.
But Wait! What happened to Donna’s at the Blazy Mall? “I moved my store in Soldotna right next to Don Jose’s next to the Soldotna Creek Park strip. It’s smaller of course because my big store is out here, but we still have a lot of nice gifts as always and a new craft room where we have painting classes. I’m there most of the time now that the tourists are gone and Tom goes back and forth between stores. Plus he sells more than I do because folks really like him,” laughed Donna. Over the year’s Donna’s has built a reputation for really having more items than ones eye can take in at first glance and now with two locations that is totally an understatement. How does she do it? “It’s my life, it’s what I do every moment that I’m awake, is look for things and ideas to display them. That’s why I’m in business, it’s what I want to do. It’s not to make a lot of money, I just don’t want to lose any money and if I’m happy with what I’m doing and can make my customers happy, then that’s my goal,” she said. And how did the floor of clouds come about? “Tom called and asked what I wanted for a floor, thinking I was going to want something fancy and I said what is it now? And he said dirty old concrete but I can clean it up. So I asked one of my customers that came in and she said a lot of people are just staining it so that’s what he did and it is absolutely beautiful and makes the shop.” With the holidays coming up Donna will have special Christmas rooms at both shops. In Soldotna Donna’s is open 11:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Saturday and at Two Rusty Ravens 8:00am – 6:00pm. And if you happen to miss Donna in Soldotna, her longtime assistant Rachel will be there to help you find the perfect gift or sign up for painting classes.