|Julie’s new store about to open|
|July 08, 2010 Jerry Purvis|
Julie’s Antiques, a longtime fixture in downtown Gering, is moving across 10th Street into the former Prohs building.
Located at 1513 and 1517 10th Street, the expansion includes four floors of antiques, secondhand books, unfinished furniture and used appliances.
Owner Julie Morrison opened her antique store along with her father in 1989. From their store at 1506 10th Street, they had enough room to set up complete bedroom sets.
“We just grew from there to where we had stuff piled on top of stuff,” Morrison said. “With the Prohs building empty, I decided now was the time to move and do something a little bit different. This is such a magnificent old building; it fit the purpose of what I wanted to do.”
She said they’re moving out of their warehouse on East Overland so the operation can be consolidated in one place. That makes it easier for someone to be at the store when others are making deliveries.
The new Julie’s Antiques has four levels: basement, main floor, mezzanine and upper floor. All the painted furniture is located on the mezzanine and upstairs is the used furniture, lamps, pictures and mirrors.
Antiques are featured on the main level, including an old juke box and pinball machines. In the basement will be toys, tools, old radios and whatever they decide to bring in.
“We have a lot of unfinished furniture, things I started working on but then got sidetracked on another project,” Morrison said. “If anyone is looking for a project, the hard work is done.”
Morrison said that although her background is in healthcare, she’s always been interested in antiques. “I brought my first antique home when I was about eight. Someone had thrown away a shoeshine chair from a barber shop and I still have it.”
Her love of antiques has led her to fixing up old houses and buying old furniture, even when she was working in the healthcare industry.
“I was living in Laramie when my father started in the appliance business,” she said. “He asked if I’d like to come back and get into the antique business. That’s when it started.”
And they went into the business big time. Over the years, it’s the people that have kept her loving the work she does.
“It’s like a hunt to find antiques,” she said. “There should probably be a 12-step program for antique collectors. They’re always looking for the next fix, that wonderful deal.”
Morrison said she wants to be officially open for Oregon Trail Days. Completely moving out of their other buildings might take more time.
Eventually, when the weather is cooler, she wants to decorate the outside of the building. Until then, she’s considering décor ideas that would work on the new façade.
Morrison said she and her crew started working on the new building Jan. 3 of this year. “It’s been a six-month process and we’re not done yet.”
Before antiques could be moved in, the building needed to be repainted and smoke damage from an earlier fire needed to be cleaned up. The solid maple floor needed to be refinished, along with the original tin ceiling.
The process of moving antiques into the new building started about two months ago.
“It was a big job, but if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right,” Morrison said. “Nights, evenings and weekends we worked on it. I haven’t had a day off since Jan. 3.”
But next week, the paper will be down from the windows and the new Julie’s Antiques will be open for business. “This might be the largest antique store between Omaha and Denver,” she said. “I hope the public will stop in and take a look.”