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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 28, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, July 28, 2010 7B in In les in BUSINESS CONNIE'S PLACE Diana Jorgenson Portola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews.com "Everything is usable when you take it out the door. That's my goal," Connie Kun- sman said of the secondhand_ furniture and household goods she sells at Connie's Place. The large store on Highway 70, between Delleker and Maybe, is almost a museum, its inventory is so varied. Al- though Kunsman stays away from most antiques because she wants her prices to stay reasonable, many of the things are quaint reminders of days gone by. You may find a cookie jar like the one grandma used to have or old-fashioned china; washboards hang on the wall, and vintage photographs pop up here and there. There are sideboards, dressers, book- shelves and mirrored dress- ing tables. Kunsman has lots of kerosene lamps and even a couple of glass chimneys to put over candles. Like her inventory, Kun- sman had another career be- fore landing here. She is a re- tired nurse and spent 40 years working at that career, 27 of them at Portola's hospital. She worked in obstetrics and as the birth rate in the area declined, Kunsman found her- self on call more and more. At the same time, the sec- ondhand store developed slowly but organically. Kun- sman has always enjoyed go- ing to flea markets and garage sales and had a knack for finding things her fellow workers asked her to look for. As she began to spend a lot of time on call in her nursing career, she found she could just as easily be on call at a store -- her own store. She began Connie's Place in 1986 and will celebrate her 24th year in business in Sep- tember. She maintained her store in Portola for three years, but for the most part, she has been located on High- way 70, next to her home. The large new building that houses her store and her shop area where she sorts, cleans and fixes things before they become part of the showroom, was the happy result of a sad loss. When a forest fire raged through in 1982 or 83, she re- called it burned everything but the Kunsmans' house and five or six trees. When she and her husband, Harold, decided to replace the burned garage, they built her store instead. At first her hus- band's office for his fencing business, Kunsman Fence Company, shared the space, but soon Connie's inventory. grew to encompass him, and she took over the office space .... i!i!iil i! Connie Kunsman is particularly proud of this display cabinet, which was originally in Sorroco's Store in Portola. The old grocery store was once located on the spot that is now the parking lot for The Pullman House on Commercial Street. In its previous incarnation, it was a cigar case; now it is at home at Connie's Place and displays an ongoing parade of different items. Photo by Diana Jorgenson Have,.9ou failin$ sobrietu? . J T re~ olc ever one telhn ou this s 9 g9 the wa l 9ou have to sober? ~i' Discover 9our own path: Heal the Mind, the Body and the Spirit One on one counseling Scenic private lake setting Life Skill training prepares clients for long term success One year after care Insurance accepted - Financing available c..= 1-866-367-6780 www.stopyouraddiction.com Current and past presidents of the Plumas Family Child Care Association, Yolanda Wood, Aldeen Hamilton, Christine Schlueter and Jerri Adams (not pictured) attended their annual family picnic at Gansner Park. Also in attendance was their newest member, Bruce Carlson. PFCCA members would like to thank the community for their support at their many bake sales and opportunity drawings that they hold to raise money for county high school schol- arships. PFCCA encourages family child care providers to join, network with others in your profes- sion, and share ideas for offering successful family child care businesses. For more information please call Yolanda at 283-4897, Aldeen at 258-3802 or Christine at 258-3951. to use as her own work space, drawer slide easily. She can These days, Kunsman relies do most minor furniture re- less on garage sales and gets pairs. more of her inventory from She doesn't strip furniture estates, because someone has or refinish it, but she fre- either died or is moving to a quently will stain something nursing home or smaller or sand out scratches. quarters and has no more use She has given up painting for household goods, things, she laughed, because Circumstances vary, so no one seemed to like the col- Kunsman may be able to se- ors she picked. lect certain items suitable for She also carries tools to in- her store, but frequently she terest the men, including a must take the household in its couple of heavy-duty hand entirety, planes. "It's a lot of work," she said. There are frames, knick- She must sort it first because knacks, lamps, jewelry, sil- not all of it is suitable for Con- ver, nice linens, some old nie's Place. She doesn't carry, magazines and lots of books. clothing, children's toys or She tries to keep her book appliances, large or small, prices competitive with the But other thrift and second- other local thrift shops. "I'd hand stores in the area do, so rather recycle them than dust Kunsman delivers appropri- them," she joked. ate merchandise to the other But a lot of her inventory is shops in the area. odds and ends, one-of-a-kind Then she cleans everything items, a single Stetson, an Eng- she intends to sell in her own lish riding hat, a crystal door shop. Canisters may still have knob, an old railroad lantern flour or sugar in them or, in and one from a model A. contrast, an item may be "I think that's why people dusty or dirty from disuse or come in here," Kunsman may require some repair, mused. "It's a trip down mem- Kunsman has learned to re- ory lane." pair a lot of the usual prob- Over the years, Kunsman lems with old furniture and has developed a solid cus- other old items in her years in tamer base, with people cam- the business: She can rewire a ing from as far away as Sacra- lamp and make a dresser mento, the Central Valley, Although Connie's Place is a medley of styles, eras and inventory items, the pieces are grouped artistically and harmoniously. Shopping is more like visiting a museum: It's fun to look at everything, whether it's on your shopping list or not. Los Angeles and the Bay Area. niche. Kunsman has learned She has loyal local customers her customers don't come to as well, counting Reno and her store looking for mi- Carson City folk among them. crowaves, so she will have it "My regular customers al- on her shelf for some to come. ways stop in," she said, "even Now, she knows her cus- if only to say hello." tamers, and donates mi- Over time, her customers crowaves and items outside and her inventory have her established customer base shaped themselves, with Kun- to other thrift stores. sman as the defining charac- Connie's Place is not the teristic, setting Connie's only thrift store Kunsman is Place apart from other thrift stores with its own customer See Connie's, page 8B m Budget conscious? Find things at good prices and good values at these area stores. ' PLUMAS DISTRICT c Quality treasures HOSPITAL VOLUN+E RS at affordable prices." argain 8outique A unique shop in Quincy 293 Lawrence Street, Quincy ~ In the Big Red Barn Small Furniture, Housewares, Wall Decor, Jewelry, Gently Used Clothing for Men, Women & Children Man to Fri 11am to 3pro Donations appreciated Quincy Thrift 484 MaLt1 St. Downtown Quincy Co]n]n]ies ]P]l l(ce 5(e(condl ]Hl( ml(dl T]r(e@lsmut]r(ess Anfi des :::/ ' Collectibles': Used Furniture Books Household Items Jewelry Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10am-4pm 72850 Hwy. 70 3 Miles West Of Portola * 832-5111 EPHC Auxiliary Nifty ty 116 Commercial St. "01d Town Portola" Open for donations and great values. Tuesday through Saturday, lOam-3pm KRISSY'S KLOSET AND KOLLECTIBLE$ ,.-"-., THRIFT STORE rA. Second-hand Clothing Collectibles and much more Donations Welcome 530-832-5600 181 Nevada St., Portola available ii (: Buy at future discount prices until 8/31/10 Injections Chemical Hair Removal Dermal Variable Pulse Light Spider Vein Removal Indra U , M.D. F.A.C.O.G.F.A.C.S. C.C.D. MEP-C Certified Medical Esthetic Professional 103 Fair Drive, Susanville !, h it