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Consignment Store All Things Great Opens Downtown

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All Things Great, a consignment and vintage store, will open tomorrow on Main Street in the location formerly occupied by Ade’s Place.

Co-owners Laurel Kirtz and Kate Harvey hope that the store will help students and community members repurpose their unwanted items and reduce waste, while acting as an outlet for the community — especially for artists.

“I hope to reduce trash because I know that the students throw a lot of stuff away, and they don’t want to, but they don’t really have a lot of other options, and the free swap [an end of year free clothing exchange] only gets to so many people,” Kirtz said. “It’s a way for all the teenagers in town to have your cool college clothes.”

Elyria-born Harvey approached Kirtz, a lifetime Oberlin resident, while the two worked together at Campbell House Antiques on Main Street. Harvey worked for the store for 13 years; Kirtz began working there last summer. Both hoped to branch out from selling antiques to include more modern items.

“Campbell’s was good to me,” Harvey said. “But when I started with Campbell’s, it was strictly antiques, and that was early antiques, like 1800s items, and that didn’t go so well in Oberlin for me personally.”

Kirtz’ personal style also clashed with the limitations of Campbell House Antiques.

“I came in [to Campbell House], and I broke all the rules,” Kirtz said. “I was like, ‘Nothing but ’90s [style clothing].’”

Both owners decided against housing a specific category of items. The current layout of the store holds a variety of clothing, art pieces, furniture, and practical-use items from various time periods. Next to the store’s dressing room is a bench from a 1920s grocery store, which sits across from a microscope and vintage overalls.

“We don’t want to be in any box,” Kirtz said. “That’s why we call our store ‘All Things Great,’ because it’s not defined by any adjective except for ‘great.’”

Kirtz and Harvey met at a garage sale hosted by Kirtz, who modeled the current layout of All Things Great after the layout of her sales. A frequent participant of the Rotary Club of Oberlin’s annual City Wide Garage Sale, Kirtz plans to feature items from All Things Great in future outdoor sales.

“I do [garage sales] because I love hustling,” Kirtz said. “I love standing there with the fanny pack and just being like, ‘Two dollars’ and [seeing customers’] eyes light up.”

The storefront location has a long history. The building itself once housed businesses like Campus Video, Bicycle Emporium, the Sport Shop, Morehead Food Market, and most recently, Ade’s Place.

Considered by many to be a pillar of the Oberlin community, Ade’s Place was run and owned by Professor Adenike Sharpley, who taught dance at the College for over 20 years. Upon Professor Sharpley’s retirement, the store closed. Despite the continued online presence of Ade’s Place, its departure from Main Street has impacted College students.

“I think a lot of people loved Miss Ade’s place,” College junior Nia Daids said. “It was my mom’s favorite place to shop [in Oberlin].”

With the loss of Ade’s Place, it may take time for College students to grow accustomed to the new store.

“I’m sad that Ade’s is gone,” College junior Sage Vouse said. “While I love vintage stores, I wonder what unique quality [All Things Great] will bring to Main Street.”

Harvey and Kirtz hope to remedy this loss by supporting local artists in their space and prioritizing artists of color.

“I can’t say we’ll ever live up to [Professor Sharpley’s] involvement, but supporting people of color is important and Ade is someone who did that,” Kirtz said. “If we can have artists, just to get people to understand we’re there for them, it could be a good art workspace.”

Kirtz’ main goal for the store is to “create less trash in the world.” Both Harvey and Kirtz prioritize making their items accessible to all by eliminating categories like men’s and women’s sections, selling items from a range of price points, and offering custom tailoring to adjust for size discrepancies. While All Things Great will not be the first vintage or consignment store in the town, it will be the only location on Main Street to provide custom tailoring services.

“I think Oberlin already has very similar stores,” College senior Tré Quarles said. “But custom tailoring may be interesting.”

Harvey and Kirtz have many ideas for the future of the store, including housing a cobbler, featuring artists’ work in the basement of the building, playing cult films for customers within the store, and extending store hours until 11 p.m. during Commencement Weekend.

Plans for the store’s opening are still being solidified.

“Maybe tarot card readings, but definitely bowls of candy,” Kirtz said regarding features of the opening.

All Things Great’s store hours are currently set for 11 a.m to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Harvey and Kirtz extended hours for Commencement Weekend to encourage families and students to visit the store.

“[All Things Great will be] a good place Commencement Weekend, when everyone’s milling about and maybe waiting for a table at a restaurant, to come to the shop, get down, and get funky,” Kirtz said.

Items from Ade’s Place and Alake Gallery are now sold at alakegallery.com

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