Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hitch your wagon to the treasures at Max and Ollie's

We all have our favorite shops, whether you're a man who loves power tools or a woman in search of a dress. And some of us don't like to share.

I remember writing a column a couple of years ago about a nifty little gift shop in Shelby Township that took old wood products such as doors and window frames, painted them white and turned them into vintage accents and accessories. I discovered the shop while searching for a fabric shop. Shortly after the story ran, I heard from a lady agreeing that it was the best little shop in Shelby but cursing me for sharing her secret with others.  

Here I am again with another find, only this one I discovered years ago when the shop first opened. I am talking about Max & Ollie's at 42 Pine Street in Downtown Mount Clemens. Yes! It is the shop that parks a little red wagon on the sidewalk that tells shoppers that Max & Ollie's is open for business.

The story of Max & Ollie's began six years ago in an apartment above John Barleycorn. Diane Kubik and her recently laid-off sister were sitting at the kitchen table mulling over what to do when they decided to open their own business: a boutique featuring crafts and vintage finds. Two weeks after opening up their 330-square-foot shop, Kubik's sister was called back to work, leaving Kubik as one-woman operation.

She thrived as an entrepreneur (while still caring for her young sons Max and Ollie) and the store evolved into an award-winning shop.

Have you ever needed a special gift such as a frilly apron for someone who loves to cook? Or a white pair of gloves for a garden party? How about a beaded vintage purse to match a summer hat you purchased to wear for a wedding? These items and more I have found at Max & Ollie's. What I have also found is that Kubik enjoys window shoppers. I've heard of people just going in the store to browse. Every visit turns up something new. 

"It's been an honor," said Kubik. "I have such wonderful customers, so supportive. To be able to stay in business for six years in such a tough economy is just amazing."  

To celebrate her success and acknowledge her sixth anniversary, Max & Ollie's will be open for extended hours, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., April 26-April 28. Each day will feature a different sale: April 26, 30 percent off jewelry and accessories; April 27, 30 percent off glass and china; and April 28, 30 percent off linens, lamps and d├ęcor.

Just look for the little red wagon parked at the curb. Oh, and once you've been there to see it for yourself, feel free to share.

If someone asked you, "Can you swim a mile?" you'd say, "Nah." But if you found yourself dumped out at sea, you'd swim the mile. You'd make it -- Gertrude Boyle

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