Traveling to or through a small town can usually yield some neat souvenirs. But what if the experience of finding something new or interesting to buy didn’t require traveling? What if the owners of the store did all the traveling first, and brought back the best of what they could find, all organized into a small, colorful shop?
That is the basic premise for a new variety store on Aultman called This & That. The store is only open seven to 10 days a month, usually right at the end of one month and the beginning of another. The rest of the time, owner Juliet Noyes travels, discovering new and unique items from other, usually small, communities and brings them back to refresh her stock. To Noyes, it’s the kind of dream come true.
“I’ve always kind of thought about doing something like this but I never thought it would be a reality,” Noyes said.
The owner had spent 20 years visiting Ely before finally moving and calling it home last year. When her and her husband Luis saw an opportunity to invest and potentially open their own store, Noyes said she wanted to make sure she wasn’t stepping on any of the established business owners’ toes.
“We did our research and legwork and went to each place in town. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t competing with anyone in town but rather compliment what wasn’t here,” Noyes said.
The result is a store bursting with life and color. Though the square footage of the showroom space is smaller than most stores, Noyes said she takes time to find room to showcase each individual piece. The result often amounts to people finding more stuff that they want to buy as they walk out of the store than when they walk in Noyes said.
But despite representing other communities, Noyes also brought it upon herself to provide some Ely branded souvenirs, a surprising rarity in town.
“When we would come visit Ely, I always wanted to bring back a souvenir. Outside of the railroad, there really wasn’t much in the way of that,” she said.
Noyes brought up the topic because she had just received a shipment of Ely coffee mugs and other similar souvenirs such as branded candles.
“Louis and I decided to design our own logo for Ely and start making some products,” Noyes said.
In her travels, Noyes has found that she always finds something new or unexpected and hopes to bring that sense of discovery to her store. Promising new stock every month, Noyes encourages those looking for something interesting to pop their heads in once a month, because there’s bound to be something new to check out.
For more information on This & That, call 702-232-6301.