By Tim Linscott
“Look at this,” Lisa Jones says with pure excitement in her voice, holding up a very old metal bucket. “I am going to make it either the base of a table or a lampshade.”
The pure excitement jumps into the voice of Monica Poppe as she relays the story of how a farmer pulled up in front of their business, “Soulful Salvage” a few days earlier with a pickup bed full of items they intended to discard. “We tracked him down and found all this really cool stuff.”
The enthusiasm, the creativity and the friendship shared by the owners of ‘Soulful Salvage,’ located at 211 Central Avenue in downtown Grant, is the hallmark of the business.
“Some people see junk, we see opportunities,” Jones says.
In November a group of seven friends, Jones, Poppe, Michelle Wendell, Becky Fisher, Billie Muehlenkamp, Kris Long and Genie Bishop occupied the building to sell some of their wares during the annual Perkins County Chamber of Commerce holiday event.
The group had so much fun they decided to keep going until after the holidays. Now it is spring and there just seems to be no end in sight for “Soulful Salvage.”
“Our landlord Jorje Geisert has been really gracious with us about the store,” Poppe said.
The business is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday.
Also open by appointment, the business will be doing antiques and craft fairs around the Midwest this spring and summer.
“We have all liked antiques and creative stuff,” Poppe said, adding that right out of high school she actually bought the building where the business is now. “I had a hobby shop here and over the years it has been several other businesses. It is just neat that it has come full circle and back to being a shop like this.”
At the age of 10 Poppe went to her first auction, by herself, to buy antiques.
“Other kids were out playing with new toys and I was at the auctions looking for antiques,” Poppe said, noting that she was ‘always the kid with a box of rocks or sticks in her room, making different stuff.’
Karma has also struck Jones. She recently went to an auction and purchased some old copies of the Grant Tribune-Sentinel. Within the stack of newspapers she grabbed an issue and opened it up, finding a story she wrote in high school about being a ‘junk hunter.’
Jones, an art major in college, continues to see things a bit differently when it comes to turning what some may consider junk into works of art.
The group says they have all been ‘collecting since grade school.’
The nostalgic feel sweeps over customers when they come into the shop, according to both Poppe and Jones.
“People come in here and just look at things and remember the past or look at some of our ideas and just think it is so cool,” Jones said.
The spirit shared by the group usually catches on to the customers.
“The enthusiasm wears on them-or they think we are crazy,” Poppe said. “It is really contagious, the enthusiasm, in here.”
Jones adds, “No dumpster or pickup bed is safe.”
The business has the mantra of selling ‘anything old, cool, weird or unique.’
“We are having a blast,” Poppe sums up the attitude of the business.