Packing up her old shop, Third Street Marketplace, in December, Connie Quick moved downtown and reopened her store as Ruby’s.
“I just decided it was time to start fresh downtown,” Connie Quick said.
“The name of the store is Ruby’s, but I’m going to call it Ruby’s on Grand.”
Located at 103 Grand Ave., the vintage store opened Friday, but Connie Quick said she is planning on hosting a grand opening March 3-4.
“We’re going to try to have stuff from other businesses in here during the grand opening like coffee and refreshments from Coal Creek Coffee, maybe flowers from (Poppy’s Flowers & Boutique),” Connie Quick said.
“Also, my daughter is going to (do) a woodblock printing workshop during the grand opening.
“We’ve had a lot of success with that in the past.”
Ruby’s isn’t Connie Quick’s first foray into the vintage market. She said she got started many years ago selling items in Colorado antique malls. She also owns City Rags in Thermopolis, which sells similar goods.
“We originally planned to retire in Thermopolis,” she said. “But, we decided to stay in Laramie, so I opened Third Street Marketplace about a year ago.”
Although she said she would miss attracting interstate-traveling customers, she moved the store to take advantage of the downtown foot traffic.
“I like the vibe,” Connie Quick said. “I’ve always liked the downtown area.”
Connie Quick moved to Laramie with her husband, Tad, about 16 years ago after living throughout Wyoming.
“He was a brick layer, and we moved all the time, so it was easier to sell things in antique malls,” she said.
But after Tad Quick was hurt on the job, they settled down in Laramie.
“We’ve moved away twice,” he said.
“But we love it here, so we always come back.”
With relics from another time such as a metal washtub basin, stoneware jugs and a reproduced pie cooling rack, Ruby’s possessed a rustic-ranch-house atmosphere. Cowboy boots — new and old — dotted the store and vintage furniture was decorated with retro children’s toys.
“Anymore, because of the internet, vintage is defined as anything 20 years old,” Connie Quick said. “I like it to be a little older.”
She said she prefers to label items vintage if they are at least 30 years old and antique if they are at least 100 years old.
“I used to deal in antiques, but it just got too expensive,” Connie Quick said.
Even stocking vintage items has become harder as internet shopping has grown in popularity, and she said more people are attending the auctions where she acquires her goods since television shows such as “American Pickers” started airing.
“A lot of people don’t understand how much time goes into collecting theses items,” Connie Quick said. “Most everything we do is geared toward filling the store.”
The Quicks often vacation in Kansas or Nebraska where they can visit large auctions and return with a truck load of new items for the store.
But the increased popularity of vintage goods hasn’t deterred the Quicks from collecting.
“We’ve always enjoyed the rustic look instead of chrome and glass,” Tad Quick said. “There’s a certain group of people this stuff has always been with. They grew up with it.”
Connie Quick ran her hand along the inside of the metal washtub basin and said her mother used a similar device.
“Even after people in rural areas had running water, they used these,” she said. “Now, they mostly make for good planters.”
In spite of a boom-bust cycle for fad-shopping customers, Connie Quick said she wasn’t worried about the market waning.
“I think people will always like stuff like this,” she said.
Ruby’s, 103 Grand Ave., is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.