Growing up on a farm, Jamie Steffl and her twin sister used to play in an old granary imagining it was their home and filling it with items others had deemed as junk.
Years later Steffl has taken a granary on the rural Clements farm where she lives with her own family, but instead of imagining it as a home she has created her own business called the…Barn Store.
Growing up on a farm, Jamie Steffl and her twin sister used to play in an old granary imagining it was their home and filling it with items others had deemed as junk. Years later Steffl has taken a granary on the rural Clements farm where she lives with her own family, but instead of imagining it as a home she has created her own business called the…Barn Store. One thing remains the same, though. Just like she and her sister used to pull old furniture and other items they could find for their play house, Steffl has rummaged through groves, visited thrift stores and attended auctions to fill her space with items she has discovered and repurposed. “It’s really a mix of old and new,” she said, adding there are items which have been repurposed as well as what she called vintage finds. There are also creations by others, such as quilts, candles and a line of clothing one is going to find in the store just off of TH 68 in Three Lakes Township. Steffl, who is an art teacher at RVHS, has a passion for creativity and finds she can take what some would consider no longer worth anything and with some imagination can give it a new purpose. “The idea is to create new uses for old things,” she said, adding a byproduct of that effort is keeping things out of landfills. “When some look at something ready to be thrown out, I look at it and wonder what else I could use it for.” Steffl began working on her store in June and admitted she has spent a lot of hours getting it ready. “During the spring this was full of seed corn,” said Steffl. “We removed and added walls and moved in some of the stuff I?stored.” Yes, she agreed, even the building where her store now sets is a reflection of the concept of repurposing. On display in the store are the items Steffl has found and repurposed from old seed bags turned into aprons to a set of wind chimes hanging in the store entrance made from old eating utensils. “This is my fun,” she said pointing to the items around the store. “For me this has never felt like work.” Steffl is officially opening the…Barn Store this coming weekend. A grand opening has been scheduled for this Friday and Saturday with the store open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day. Steffl said there are going to be refreshments and prizes offered as part of the grand opening event. Steffl is also open Aug. 7-8 from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. during Farmfest. (The perfect getaway for those farm wives looking for something to do while their husbands walk the streets of the farm show at Gilfillan.) Steffl said she has friends and neighbors who are also going to have their items for sale, including a neighbor who makes quilts and a friend who has her own clothing boutique. She is also going to be offering preserves for sale, as well as items from the Steffl farm, such as eggs. This fall visitors are also going to find things from the garden, including pumpkins and gourds. There are floral arrangements, and Steffl said in the future she is hoping to expand that with flowers raised on the farm. “There are not a lot of fun places like this around for women,”?said Steffl, adding while she may have had women in mind when the store was being created there are things for men, too. Steffl called her store an eclectic mix of items, adding it is intended to appeal to a wide variety of styles and interests. The intent is to make it a place someone could come to and find everything they would need to redecorate a room in their home and do it without having to pay a lot of money to do it. “I?am offering things at an affordable price,”?said Steffl. Steffl said she has done interior design work for others and her degrees in art and graphic design have been utilized in the creation of the store. Steffl also offers a line of candles from the Milkhouse Candle Company, and she is hoping in the future to offer more items from artisans in the area. There is also the potential to expand her space, and Steffl said she is hoping to create a space where people could come with items they might want to repurpose and to utilize her knowledge and tools to work on those kinds of projects. Steffl wants to help others who have the kind of passion she has, and one can’t help but see the teaching side of Steffl coming through in the store. Scattered throughout the displays are tips to consider as part of the creative process. Those who would like to learn more about the…Barn Store can do so by visiting www.farmfabulosity.com.