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The Shopper

Monday, January 28, 2013 7:21 PM

Photo by Matt Bristow/The Ottawa Herald


Michael and Veronica Powell, Lawrence, new owners of Main Street Antiques and Furniture, are shown Friday at the downtown store, 204 S. Main St., Ottawa. Michael Powell, an Ottawa native, said the couple purchased the store about two weeks ago.

Antique store markets variety

By BOBBY BURCH, Herald Staff Writer

Variety, and an active digital presence, appear to be the distinguishing characteristics at a recently acquired antique store in Ottawa’s historic downtown.

About two weeks ago, Michael and Veronica Powell, Lawrence, purchased Ottawa Main Street Antiques and Furniture, hoping to provide Franklin County with an assortment of antique artifacts.

“It’s progressing,” Michael Powell, an Ottawa native who now lives in Lawrence, said of business at his store, 204 S. Main St., Ottawa. “We’ve had a pretty steady flow of people everyday. ... There’s a little bit of everything here.”

The store, which previously was known as Main Street Antiques and Flea Market, is a vendor-style antique mall and now houses booths from 12 area dealers, Powell said. While many comment on the store’s variety, he said, its building’s architecture, which boasts a 20-foot-high, white tin-ceiling, frequently catches shoppers’ eyes as well.  

“We love the building and the tin-ceilings,” Powell, 42, said, adding that the building was created in the 1800s. “We jumped on it.”

 Aside from purchasing one of his favorite Ottawa buildings, Powell said he entered the antiques business because of his inventory’s history. Selling antiques, he said, helps circulate history in a special way.

“Each piece has several stories to tell,” Powell said. “It’s kind of cool to get it back out there and get people to pass those stories around.”

The Powell duo, who together have eight children, frequently update the store’s Facebook page with photos and details of new items, including furniture, home decor and more.

“The feedback we’ve heard from customers is that they like the variety,” Veronica Powell, 38, said, adding that the store also provides a vast price range. “There’s just so much from little things to furniture — they can always find something.”  

Veronica Powell also posts on the store’s page her “Favorite Things,” which currently features nine products ranging from a growler and typewriter to a postal scale and antiquated fire extinguisher.

She needs little prompting to share such items with the public, she said, as the first-time store owner maintains an eclectic passion for all things vintage.  

“I just have a diverse love of everything,” Veronica Powell, who also is a certified scrapbook designer and instructor, said. “I love art and I see beauty in a lot of things, and I think that old things that can get brought back to life are beautiful.”

An Ottawa High School graduate, Michael Powell said he plans to keep his business tied to its local roots. Powell, who was an area car dealer for 15 years, said he’s committed to providing quality antiques to his hometown and its surrounding communities.

“We have several Ottawa patrons that have booths here,” he said, “and we’re planning to keep it that way.”

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