The word “unique” means one of a kind, and that applies to many items at Unique Treasures in Summit.
“We like to keep this shop at least 85 percent vintage antiques and handcrafted, some repurposed, some from scratch,” said employee Debbie Wilson.
“One thing that makes us unique: We do not buy from markets. Most are one of a kind. When they’re sold, we can’t get another.”
She and owner Beverly Jackson opened the vendors’ mall at 814 Robb St. last year.
“I had booths at other places and I liked it and wanted to do my own store,” Beverly said.
She bought the store March 1, and she and Wilson opened the doors April 2. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Debbie’s knack is decorating and designing. “She (Beverly) has a good eye for going and finding vintage antiques,” Debbie said.
“We have a lot of windows, which makes the store a lot of fun.”
Debbie decorates the windows by theme, dedicating at least one window to religious imagery. Most recently that has been Nativity scenes.
“The biggest seller this year has been vintage Nativity sets,” she said. “There are lots of people who collect Nativities.”
Another good seller is pottery by Stan Todd, who moved here from Florida and lives in Magnolia.
There’s also handcrafted jewelry, goat milk soap and lotions, antiques by Jeff Canton and a vast array of other antiques, art and knickknacks.
“We’ve even sold old issues of the Enterprise-Journal — really really old,” Debbie said.
The store also sells antique furniture like Hoosier cabinets, pie safes and work islands. There’s even a “time machine” with a purported $10,000 price tag.
“Most of all we just have fun,” said Debbie, a retired schoolteacher. “This is a fun, fun business.”
Sometimes customers request a particular item the store doesn’t have, and the women do their best to find it.
“It’s like we’re on a mission and we can go find this item,” Debbie said.
“We are scouring the countryside all the time looking for things.”
Occasionally homeowners give them the pick of a house’s contents instead of holding an estate sale.
Most vendors are local, but some are from as far off as Baton Rouge.
“We cannot reorder. We do not buy from markets. We go hunting stuff,” Debbie said. “We’re always looking for the unusual.”
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and the store has some repurposed items that might have gone into the garbage, like a pair of old plow points painted with Christmas imagery.
Some people come to the store to get ideas for their own arts or crafts. And parents bring their college-age kids in for good quality all-wood furniture at reasonable prices.
“We help people come up with ideas to fit their decorating need,” Debbie said. “We get a little funky with our ideas sometimes, but they’re functional.”
Antiques, such as old crockery or cast-iron ware, bring back memories for some customers.
“The older people who come in warm our hearts, because they see something their parents or grandparents had and it brings back memories,” Debbie said.
The store is vast, with lots to look at and plenty of room to maneuver. That makes it easy for people with wheelchairs, walkers or baby carriages.
“If you come in here, you’d better be ready to spend an hour,” Beverly said.