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What Used to Be ‘happens’ on Main

The collaborating collectors are Doug Cheney and back, from left, Dawn Penning, Chris Nason and Lori Cheney. The business will debut Saturday during the Governor’s Fishing Opener. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Prepare to step back in time and discover “what used to be…”

A collaboration of antique aficionados Doug and Lori Cheney ­and shabby chic cronies Dawn Penning and Chris Nason ­has led to “a dream realized.”

“An extraordinary collection of gathered goods” now captures the fancy at the shop located at 104 Main Street North.

While Lori Cheney sees it as an aspiration met, husband Doug views the enterprise from a pragmatic perspective. “We needed to downsize,” he said of their collection. “Every time we moved, we had a few more boxes. Some remained unpacked.”

The Cheneys had attempted to rent the shop a couple of years ago, unsuccessfully. When it went on auction in October, it was “sold!”

The Cheneys determined the addition of Penning and Nason’s “repurposed items” would draw a wider clientele. “It would appeal to more people, Lori Cheney explained.

“We were blessed and honored to be invited,” Penning said.

Penning and Nason’s partnership with Joan Grover in Dorset will continue, their “shabby chic, cottage, vintage” furniture and jewelry engaging visitors in Hubbard County’s epicurean mecca.

“We love Dorset,” Nason said. “But we miss having occasional sales,” she said of their former mode of operation.

What Used to Be’s summer “occasional” schedule includes hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 during the Governor’s Opener. The store will be open June 13-15, with hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 16.

The shop will welcome clientele over Independence Day weekend, July 4-7, July 18-21, Aug. 8-11 and Labor Day weekend.

They will also be “open occasionally or by appointment.”

“It’s nice to have the option of not working every day,” said Lori Cheney, who retired after 20 years as a bank teller. “We’ll let someone else enjoy what we’ve collected over the years” - although she admits to some difficulty in parting with her broach collection.

The shop itself holds history on Main, the Cheneys said. It was originally Hazel’s Beauty Shop in the 1950s and ’60s, becoming Total Image with Marlys Schave behind the shears from the 1970s into the ’90s. The building would serve as a second-hand clothing store, tattoo shop and scrapbooking store.

It’s now undergone a facelift with new walls, lights and other amenities.

“People want old things, vintage, as opposed to new,” Penning said of the market. “Repurposed goods are great for cabins.’

“Young adults think green,” Nason agrees.

“It’s an ever-changing inventory,” the partners agree.

The Cheneys may be reached at 252-8500 (Doug) or 252-0070 (Lori).