This story starts in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. The small town is the county seat of Cambria County sitting between Pittsburgh and State College. Ebensburg is well known for its potatoes, Potatofest and many other fun events during the year.
A few years ago Vivian sat in the cold building of her clothing store wondering what to do. She was in the process of closing down. She tried and tried to sell the building. Business was just no twhat it used to be. She was her only source of income and times were getting very tough.
Being a creative lady she sat there trying to come up with ideas of how to make it. How to pull through with all she had left. She went home and went through her belongings trying to find what she thought might sell. She still had the inventory of the business but needed more to pull people in to make ends meet.
The idea seemed to work. Customers came. She sold about everything that she had brought in plus more clothing. She asked her sister, then her friends if they had items they no longer wanted. They gladly gave her things they could get rid of. One friend let her go through her attic and clean it out.
As the business grew she came up with more ideas. One local business was remodeling and throwing out wood and paneling. All kinds of reusable items. From the beginning she worked with that old phrase. “One person’s junk is another’s treasure.” From this became the High Street Emporium.
She started with the first floor building little rooms and titling them as little shops. There was the Lil Schoolhouse, The Bait Shop, Bill’s Barn, Chuck’s Square, The Barber Shop, The Train Station, etc. She took all kinds of wood and made the walls and shelves. She used doors, windows, pictures and wood from her yard. Very unique items added to the decor of the little shops.
She then started selling things on consignment and renting out the little shops. People brought all kinds of products including antiques. The business became more popular and grew quickly. Eventually, she started on her second floor. Once that was finished she started adding to the basement of the building. The store now has 48 little shops. I’ve heard people many times say how they need at least half a day to go through the building.
Word about her business grew and people come from long distances. The big front window is always decorated beautifully and invitingly. The store front has won awards for the annual Christmas decorating contest. Usually some type of Victorian setting.
With today’s economy Vivian’s business is thriving more than ever. It is now one of the most prosperous in the town. People are always looking for deals with crafty ideas of their own. Walking through the shops often brings back memories to everyone. Maybe a set of dishes your family once had, a chair or a dresser. Something you always wanted but could not afford at that time or something you had as a child or teenager.
If you are a collector of any sort this is the perfect place to go. If you have an attic or basement of things you’d like to get rid of you can always rent a space or a room. The store is open six days a week; Tuesday through Sunday.
It is amazing what a little creativity and courage can bring one at a bad time. Out of this one came a unique store full of treasures, dreams and a living for one nice lady. If you are ever near Ebensburg, PA you will have to visit the High Street Emporium.