Hidden treasure on Wellington's main street

Surprise!

There’s a treasure trove on the main street of Wellington. It arrived quietly a few weeks ago but blossomed with a Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce red ribbon grand opening ceremony January 22, just in time to show off a grand collection of Valentine specialties — everything from square dance outfits to one-of-kind Valentine heart jewelry.

The timing could not be more appropriate for welcoming Treasures, Wellington’s community-based thrift and gift shop to town. Owner Anita Halcyon, a natural-born cheerleader, brings to the shop a lifelong commitment to community and to helping others. She has years of experience with non-profits and with establishing and managing small businesses plus a passion for making people feel good.

You feel it the moment you walk into her shop. The wall colors are bright, light floods the place, clothing racks are spaced so nothing feels crowded and there’s an attractive variety of shoes, hats, art, clothing, books, picture frames, small furniture and children’s toys to browse. And there’s Anita, who will welcome you as an old friend.

She’s only been in Wellington since August, but it’s hard to tell she hasn’t spent her whole life in town. She is already a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Wellington Main Street project. She’s done her research and has identified five locally-based projects who will receive 20 percent of the store’s profits.

Those who donate no-longer-needed items to the shop may choose the project of their choice to receive funds as the items sell. Wellington Senior Center has already received its first check. Funds will go toward an “outing fund” to make it possible for needy seniors to participate in out-of-town activities sponsored by the Senior Center.

The Downtown Main Street Project will use the funds it receives to construct an entryway into town. Eyestone Elementary School will purchase boulders to enhance its natural habitat garden. Rice Elementary School also has a garden project for which it will use “Treasures” funds. Contributions made to Wellington Middle School will go toward supporting after-school programs.

Halcyon, a San Diego native, lived in Colorado for more than two decades and was heavily involved in non-profits, serving as one of the first volunteers and eventually as president of the board of directors for Hospice of Larimer County. She was also active in Time Bank, a social justice non-profit and did marketing for public speakers on a national level.

She and her husband, Dave Karpowicz, returned to California seven years ago and established a Pillow Pets business in San Luis Obispo.

“We thought we were there for good,” Halcyon said. “Then we came to Colorado for a visit and met Kora Belle and it was all over for us.” Their granddaughter was 8-months-old when she stole their heart and precipitated their move to Wellington.

Halcyon didn’t take long to become excited about the movement to improve downtown Wellington. “Things were just starting. Cool stuff. I love that kind of stuff,” she said.

She’d always thought it would be fun to have a thrift shop and now she had the opportunity and a model she admired to guide her. A thrift shop in San Luis Obispo that existed to support the hospice program there allowed her to shadow their operation, learn pricing, how to best work with volunteers and manage organizational details.

Halcyon is committed to offering only top quality items for sale, maintaining reasonable prices, employing clever merchandising and varying themes through the seasons. Displays change frequently. There will always be something new to look at and Halcyon does all she can to make people leave her shop feeling better than when they arrived.

She admits to being a garage sale addict. “I can’t stop,” she says. “But now I can buy things for the shop.”

In these early days she has seeded the shop with her garage sale finds. She’d like people who donate to know that if a donated item is not suitable for her shop she will pass it on to Harvest Farm or another non-profit. “Mom’s Closet” on the farm is free to those who qualify.

Clothing, jewelry, costumes, paperback books, stuffed chairs, baskets, small wood furniture and holiday items are welcome. Treasures does not accept electronics, particle board/laminate or large furniture, kitchen items, tools, mattresses, pillows, used stuffed animals and toys and exercise equipment.

The shop is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is closed Sunday and Monday.

Stop in to see a complete list of items, to meet Halcyon and to enjoy a bright spot in your day.

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