Even a stack of barn wood is worth something in the Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, which recently moved locations.
The worn planks leaned against the new wall inside the renovated store, but things don’t always live in the resale shop for long. Distressed things are popular as décor these days, so owner Jeanie Carter is always looking for well-loved pieces like farm windows and screen doors, she said.
“Everything’s always changing,” Carter said. “It has the décor from vintage and boutiques to today’s furniture.”
The shop recently moved about a mile down the road into its new location on the Kenai Spur Highway, directly across the street from Salvation Army. The new space is approximately 2,000 square feet compared to the old store near the Peninsula Job Center, which was 1,200 square feet, Carter said. A loft above the sales floor allows for more storage, and the service door provides the employees a workspace, she said.
The shop, which is regularly open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m to 6 p.m., now features separate rooms for china and crystal and for Alaska items, as well as neatly organized shelves full of glass jars and cozily lamplit alcoves.
Warm wall colors and distressed wood trellises fill the new store, accented by tiny white decorative lights. Carter’s daughter Dionne Cason designed it to have a Tuscany feeling. Cason just graduated with a degree in interior design, Carter said.
“I just told her, ‘Okay, here’s your open palette, do what you can,’” Carter said.
The store outgrew its last location and fills its new one to the edges. It took about six weeks to move in and has now been open for three weekends, Carter said. There is still work to do – after some finishing touches on the neighboring shop, Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe will move into the adjoining building as well. That space will be just for clothes, Carter said. In her last space, she had a room for clothes. Now, she’ll have a whole building, she said.
Most of the items come from Alaska, though she does have items from North Dakota and elsewhere in the country, Carter said. She said some of her screen doors are from the Ozarks, and the a beam just behind the counter comes from her husband’s grandfather’s farm in North Dakota.
Often, people moving away will drop off their furniture and unwanted items. She buys and sells, and offers furniture on consignment, she said. These days, people know where to bring their furniture — she doesn’t even have to go looking anymore, Carter said.
Carter opened the store three years ago. Her family arrived to homestead in 1957, and her passion for vintage began with holding onto memories of the them, she said.
She said she sees the story in everything. From damaged tablecloths to lace doilies, there’s a history to all the things she sells, she said. Finding an item that someone has made or loved can ensure those people are not entirely forgotten, she said.
“You just have to look at it in a different view,” Carter said.