LEWISTOWN - You never know what you're going to find in a box of odds and ends, but for Mark and Kim Stephens, the real-life treasure hunt turns up quite a bit of gold.
The husband and wife team recently opened Stephens Handyman Shop, a store that offers a variety of new and used household items at reasonable prices.
"People need housewares when they're staring out on their own. You can't buy everything brand new," Kim said about the idea for their shop, "We had a lot of friends who needed this and that."
Sentinel photo by JULIANNE CAHILL
Mark and Kim Stephens stand inside Stephens Handyman Shop, their new store located at 267 Caldwell Hill Road, Lewistown.
To make things easier for those in their community, the Stephenses began browsing estate sales and auctions, looking for useable and unique items for the home. All of their newly discovered treasures were listed online, where the couple connected with individuals who needed them.
As the need for items grew, Mark and Kim decided to purchase a building for their business. The shop has allowed them to offer a wider variety of items and invite customers to browse the shelves in person.
Among the items in the new shop are clothes, shoes, kitchenware, fabric, linens and curtains.
"We have tons of beautiful curtains. Some originally worth $300 to $400," Kim said.
While browsing the shop or glancing into the their garage of inventory, it may be difficult to believe that Mark and Kim were not previously collectors. After all, there are a number of valuable antiques and collectibles amid the necessary household items.
Mark pointed to a shelf containing a collection of antique canning jars. The oldest one dated back to 1892, Kim said, with others ranging from the early 1900s to current.
"Sometimes you never know what you're going to find in a box," Mark said.
For that reason, the shop includes a little bit of everything, from salt and pepper shakers to books and movies. Kim even mentioned a horse blanket and other pet items she has in storage, waiting to be displayed. However, not every item ends up on the shelves of the shop.
"We offer quality useable items," Kim said, a commitment that requires quite a bit of sorting through trash to find a treasure.
As the store grows, the couple looks forward to offering more brand new items from local vendors, including Mark's custom made wood products.
"(Woodworking) is a hobby for me, something to do in the winter," he said.
The Stephenses hosted their grand opening celebration last weekend and are now open for business.
Stephens Handyman Shop is located at 267 Caldwell Hill Road, Lewistown. Their hours include: Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday by appointment only. For
more information, call 348-9996 or visit www.facebook.com/StephensHandymanShop.