Vermillion woman opens new ‘thrift and gift’ store downtown
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Vermillion woman opens new ‘thrift and gift’ store downtown

After a few months of being vacant, antiques and vintage home decor are once again being sold at one downtown storefront.

The Treasure Trove recently opened its doors to shoppers after the Infinite Variety secondhand shop that once occupied the same space closed this past summer.

Like Infinite Variety, The Treasure Trove specializes in vintage and antique home decor, collectibles and furniture. In addition to furnishings, the store also sells vintage-style candies and a small assortment of locally produced beauty products.

Leslie Kronaizl, the owner of the store, described The Treasure Trove  as “a thrift and gift store” that sells quality secondhand merchandise at a reasonable cost.

The store opened on Nov. 8, which coincided with Election Day. That fact didn’t hurt business one bit, she said.

“We’ve had a lot of out-of-town traffic, the football playoffs brought a lot in, voting day brought in a tremendous number of people,” she said.

Not everything in the store is actually secondhand, Kronaizl said, as the store has been able to acquire some new pieces.

“We have had new, modern furniture, from sofas to love seats, recliners,” she said. “Because I would like to be able to offer the person who wants something newer but maybe just doesn’t want to spend new prices.”

The Treasure Trove, Kronaizl said, intends to cater to all tastes in the community.

“We are trying to have something to offer everyone,” she said. “We just had children come in for the second time, two days in a row, that wanted candy… I’ve had the older person looking for antiques, the college-age that just needs an end table for $20. I would like to be able to have something to offer everyone.”

From what Kronaizl has seen so far, college-age students have a greater affinity for vintage and antique items than she would have assumed.

“The younger generation seems to be appreciating them (antiques) more than I remember appreciating antiques at that time,” she said.

Business has been swift so far — on Friday morning alone, 15 pieces of furniture were sold.

Kronaizl  said she was inspired to open the store by her experiences in her parents’ Gambles hardware store as a child.

“I was brought up with my parents in retail business, so I was exposed at a very young age,” she said.

Before opening The Treasure Trove, she ran a quilt shop in the countryside outside of Vermillion, until she sold it to a customer that offered to buy it. She has been buying and selling vintage items at flea markets and online for the past several years.

The store hasn’t had it’s “grand opening” yet, though she there will be one eventually. For the time being, she said she expects upcoming events in downtown Vermillion will draw crowds to the store.

“The have a number of downtown events coming in November and December that we’ll participate in and extend our hours for,” she said.

Kronaizl isn’t alone in running the shop — her son, Kelly, works alongside her.

Kelly, a senior at Vermillion High School who plans to study business administration at USD in the fall, works alongside his mother in the shop and owns some of the inventory. His duties in the store, he said, are fairly general.

“I’m pretty much anything that it needs to be, if my mom can’t be down here sometime, I’ll be down here, things that need cleaned, priced, people needing help at the counter, anything,” he said. “I’m kind of a second ‘her.'”

Working in the shop has been an extension of something the pair already enjoyed doing — attending rummage sales and flea markets, and selling their finds.

“It’s a hobby that we’ve turned into a job,” he said. “It’s already proved to be great extra spending money.”

After pondering the idea of opening a used-goods shop for a time, they decided to open a store. Their first hurdle was finding suitable digs for their establishment.

“We’d talked about it for over a year,” Leslie said. “But we could not find a location that I felt was homey — I wanted that fit, and I wanted to be downtown, in this stretch of downtown.
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Many of the downtown storefronts she found available to rent were set up as restaurants, which she said wouldn’t suit her needs. Eventually, she found the former Infinite Variety space was available and pounced on it. Coincidentally, she said the building was once a Gambles hardware store, just like the one her parents ran when she was a child.

“Maybe that’s why it felt like home to me,” she said.

At the time that they decided to set up shop, however, the interior was not quite move-in ready — the pair spent two and a half months rehabbing the shop interior before opening.

“We did a lot of work to the building,” she said. “New furnace and central air, and I took down wallpaper and painting.”

So far, the Kronaizls said that the Vermillion community has been supportive of their efforts in opening the shop.

“We’ve only been open four days and I can’t believe how the reaction has just been unbelievably positive,” Kelly said. “Which is unbelievable but it’s not really that surprising because Vermillion has always been a community that’s so supportive of one another.”