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WOODEN SKATE OPENS WITH NEW NAME, NEW MANAGEMENT

Kellie Johnson wanted to expand her horizons. Known for the phrase “expect the unexpected”- the founder and owner of the popular store Ke…

Kellie Johnson wanted to expand her horizons. Known for the phrase “expect the unexpected”- the founder and owner of the popular store Kellie’s Consignments in Okemos found what she was looking for; literally right around the corner.

Johnson is adding to her establishments with the re-opening of the shuttered Wooden Skate, bringing her expertise in resale and fine vintage to the iconic space at 1259 W. Grand River Ave.

The Wooden Skate closed its storefront in 2012 after a near 40-year run of selling fine jewelry, antiques and estate goods. Owned by Gary Durow, the shop was recognized for its unique, renovated building that replicated a town from the 1880s. While the Wooden Skate maintained an online presence with sales on-site by appointment, Durow was looking for someone to reopen the physical doors, and Johnson fit the profile.

Kellie’s Wooden Skate will retain the jewelry focus, but new customers will note the “hipster” appeal of the inventory of antiques. Customers will find items like what they might see on a show like “American Pickers” — including architectural artifacts, vintage and antique signs, industrial items and more. “It’s not your grandma’s antique store,” said Johnson. “It’s accent pieces, collectibles and other cool stuff that people are looking for today.”

The Sparrow Advantage

Kellie’s Wooden Skate will feature new and consignment inventory while keeping the appeal and well-known history of Wooden Skate. “We’re lightening and brightening it, but leaving the charm of what was there before,” Johnson said. “We’re not taking away anything, just adding a few things. People who shopped there loved it for what it was.”

Johnson has hired a full-time gemologist to work, and the shop will be staffed with a rotation of employees from Kellie’s Consignments. Johnson is also expanding her business model at the popular Kellie’s Consignments to include in-home moving and estate sales.

“I’m super excited to bring the Wooden Skate back to life,” says Johnson. “Generations of people went there. It will be a perfect complement to Kellie’s Consignments.”

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