New upper-level downtown store to feature array of antiques, candles for area customers
A young Storm Lake entrepreneur is looking to capture the charm of an old attic filled with miscellaneous collectibles by opening her own specialty store in downtown Storm Lake later this month, a venture which will transform a worn-down upper-level storage room into a business that will feature furniture, candles and an assortment of old and new antiques.
Kristi Knofflauch, 24, is in the process of renovating the space above Floors, Etc. on Lake Avenue into The Attic: Vintage Furnishings and Decor, an enterprise which will be the first for the new business owner, who had originally planned to enter the social work field. After graduating from Buena Vista University with a degree in social work, Knofflauch decided to discontinue her pursuit of that field and start up the new antique retail business, a venture she said was appealing to her.
"This seemed like a good opportunity when I began thinking about it, and it seemed more fun (than social work), so I decided to do it," Knofflauch said.
Knofflauch began ordering items such as lamps, crafts and other home decor items from local artisans and from markets in Minneapolis in April, and also began scouring area auctions for vintage furnishings that could be part of the new store's inventory throughout the spring and summer. She also purchased a number of candles from various candlemakers in a Storm Lake, Marcus and Odebolt to sell in her shop, a move she said was designed to build bridges with people around the area.
"It was important to me to try and build as many local connections as possible," Knofflauch said. "There will be some stuff I have to order from other places, but I thought I would try to contact as many people around here as possible first."
One of the biggest challenges for Knofflauch was to restore and revamp the space in which the store will be located. New laminate floors and a black tin tin ceiling are currently being installed, replacing a gray cement floor and old ceiling, and a hole had to be knocked out of the brick exterior wall in order to put in a fire escape on the side of the building.
Knofflauch said the renovations are going smoothly, however, and said she has a goal of opening up her new attic to the public by the Holiday Open House on the first of November.
"We're going to be opening by then for sure," Knofflauch said. "Even if we have to work overnight to get it done, we're going to have our doors open by then."