A touch of homeSince September, Susi Pakes has been finding used furniture a new home. Touch of Home Consignment, 1424 Tower Ave., is filled with pieces in many designs — each one of a kind.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Since September, Susi Pakes has been finding used furniture a new home. Touch of Home Consignment, 1424 Tower Ave., is filled with pieces in many designs — each one of a kind.
“He who hesitates around here loses,” Pakes said.
The furniture is grouped together in the former Engwalls Florists space, often with pictures and lamps to complete the ensemble, inviting shoppers to sit down.
“As you can tell by just looking, she has nice stuff,” said Robin Sadowski, who works part-time at the store and sells her unique jewelry designs there. “The furniture is more affordable than brand new.” And it’s already broken in.
From headboards and tea carts to hutches and sofas, there’s always something new at Touch of Home. Two weeks ago, for example, the store took in three loads of furniture. The items are sold on a 50/50 split, with customers doing their own hauling. Although this is the era of Craigslist, Pakes has plenty of clients looking to sell.
“When you put something on Craigslist you get people coming into your home,” she said. “Here it’s safe.”
Chuck Mortenson of Superior brought some of the items from his parents’ estate to Touch of Home.
“Something sells every month,” he said.
Customers from every walk of life drop by for a cup of coffee, a gander at the wares and possibly a tune from the shop canaries, George and Gracie.
The shop is also a showplace for local arts and crafts, including Sadowski’s handmade jewelry, Peruvian silver jewelry, Cambodian jewelry and silk scarves. One section of the shop, Collette’s Corner, offers unique collector and gift items. Local photographers display their work on the wall for sale and space is still available for other artists/crafters to rent.
Pakes is a former middle school German teacher from Janesville. She moved to the Superior area to start anew when her job was cut.
“I fell in love with the area,” she said.
Leaving teaching and her students gave her an empty feeling, but opening the shop has filled that void.
“Since I have been up here I’ve met one nice person after another,” Pakes said.
Pakes bought the business, formerly Quality Furniture and More, from Pete and Sherri Birch. But she didn’t want to run a thrift store so she opened the space up and traded in the tools and sleds for china and footstools.
The Birches helped her start the paperwork for her business, and continue to stop by to visit and browse. Landlord Tom Unterberger has been a great help. Sadowski and other crafters and artists have become friends.
“I’ve only been up here six months and I have so many people who care about me,” Pakes said.
The business is also rewarding.
“We’re trying to help people find a place for their furniture, to give it a new home,” Pakes said.
To accommodate the closing of Tower Avenue, the business’ north side door will open to the public. Currently, it opens into the storeroom, but Pakes plans to turn that space into another showroom for pieces. The door faces the alley between the Globe News and Horizon Travel buildings.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce ambassadors hold a ribbon cutting at the store at noon April 17 to welcome the business to town.