By Brad Mosher
Simply Charming is something new – which specializes in selling something not quite new.
A discarded chandelier can be remade.
Old license plates can be turned into colorful and ornate dragonflies.
It is more than just recycling. It means sometimes creating something new out of something not-so-new.
For Kim Thackett, all it takes is a little imagination – with a touch of MacGyver.
And more than a little craftiness. “I am really crafty,” she said with a smile.
And there is a strong sense of pride she has as she looks around her small store.
“I made that chandelier,” she said, pointing to an item which had been discarded and then reborn with a new look. “I’m proud of that chandelier.”
But one of the proudest things she usually stocks are dragonflies.
Not the live kind.
Hers are made of metal and other inanimate materials.
Or, to be precise, some made from old license plates – or old ceiling fans. ‘I had a bunch of dragonflies, but a young woman came by and bought them all,” she said, shortly after her grand opening.
Pointing to one of the few dragonflies left in the store, she said it was made from an old Minnesota license plate. “They don’t have raised letters and numbers in Minnesota.”
She also pointed to a row of antique insulator once used on old power lines. “I think I am going to turn the brown ones into bird feeders,” she said, noting some could also become candle holders.
She has tried to have a little something in her shop for all age groups, even a treasure chest filled with toys kids might like to play with.
Outside the store, there is an old tractor parked out in front with flowers decorating it. “The tractor belongs to a friend of mine. Until he gets some tires on it, I am not allowing anybody on it,” she said. When the tires are on it, there will also be a sign on the tractor saying that children and people will be at their own risk if the get on it. “It will be cute,” she added.
She is even talking about having classes to help bring the craftiness out of people. For some, it could be as simple as making greeting cards. For others, it may take a little more time, effort and resources. “If they can get four people together at one time, I’m willing to have a class,” she added with a smile. “They don’t have anything like that around here.”
There is a reason to her drive to repurpose items she finds. “I have 25 grand kids…. you have to be creative,” she said with a sparkle in her eyes.
Now, it is the bulk of her business on Highway 101.
She needs something to keep her out of trouble, she added with a chuckle.
So far, she has been trying to adjust to the flow of business on Highway 101 south of Rockaway Beach. “I’m sure when it is summer, it will pick up,” she explained, noting that she had several days where no one stopped by, then in one or two days the customers nearly cleaned her store out. “I had to get back to work and make more stuff,” she said.
“As the weather gets better and summer gets here, I will soon be open seven days a week,” she said. But so far, she has not seen a customer on Sundays since she opened. “I haven’t had a soul stop on Sundays. I was hoping that it would be good for being open Sundays and Mondays, catching the leftover traffic heading out of town. But, they are so focused on getting out of town, that shopping is the last thing they want to do.”
So, until summer tourist traffic really gets started, she said she plans to try being closed on Sundays and Mondays.
The small shop is located at 15630 North Highway 101, just north of the Barview exit.