Old Town Antiques & Books Store gives new life to old stuff

Carol Jouppi, owner of Duluth Old Town Antiques & Books Store, opened a special display room for customers to have a glance of old antiques in a new way. She calls it the “Three Season Room” located in Grandma's Attic. It displays various themes four times a year based on special occasions and store dealers' choices.

The current theme of Three Season Room is Dreamy White. It's scheduled to be shown from June 14 to 28 and will still be displayed until the next theme begins on Aug. 9. The Dreamy White room is decorated with all white antiques.

Jouppi offers this free room for dealers and provides enough freedom for them to display what they want the public to see. Each year the dealers come up with four exhibition themes, bring in the antiques they collected and build the room together. Jouppi appreciates the dealers work of showing the customers how beautiful these old antiques can be when being arranged and given new themes.

Duluth Old Town Antiques & Books Store has quite a long history. The newest owner, Carol Jouppi, has been working at the store for almost 20 years and been the principal owner for the last five. Carol Jouppi’s husband David Jouppi came on board two years ago after serving 47 years in his previous job. The Jouppi couple feel happy working together in this store and will retire this coming October.

Old Town Antiques & Books Store has been one of the most famous and largest antiques stores in Duluth area.

The 38 antique dealers working for this store are in charge with chores in their own section including collecting antiques, arranging settings and cleaning. The store provides hundreds or thousands of antiques.

"This is a store full of stories," said Jouppi. "We have dealers who are professional in art and related field and who have great backgrounds."

Each piece of antique was collected by its dealer and brought to the store. Each section in the store is a piece of artwork by its dealer. Based on dealers’ knowledge they gave reasonable prices to the antiques. Even dealers from other stores around Duluth area came in here and tried to find the piece of art they liked to bring in their stores.

Wendy Ruhnke, one of the dealers at Old Town Antiques & Books Store, is proud of her job and in love with this store.

“This is a store you can find anything you need to give the finishing touches to your home.” said Ruhnke.

The idea of bringing old stuff back into use is fascinating for Ruhnke. Every piece of antique as Jouppi introduced, had been made sure to be in their best shape with good function before being put on shelf.

“There is always a mission behind.” said Jouppi.

The next theme of Three Season Room will be Picker’s Delight from August 9 to August 25. There are always passengers, students and tourists to walk in the old antiques store and gasp when they see the amount of antiques and the beautiful settings. Jouppi said they are very welcome to stop by and take a look at the Three Season Room.

”This is also an animal-friendly store,” said Jouppi. “So feel free to walk in even when you have your dogs with.”

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