Stoltz of Coudersport

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Bokman of Wellsville

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Howard's Inc, Coudersport, PA

UPMC Cole

Friday, January 19, 2018

Bill Pekarski: Day 502, Living life on my terms.

Bill Pekarski:

Day 502, Living life on my terms.

I was downtown today and as I drove along, I thought about all of the stories I wrote about businesses throughout town. At about the same time, I found myself driving by Empson's Craft Supplies/Poppy's Attic and noticed the open sign was out front. I decided to pull over and take a look.

What a great little shop! There were beautiful antiques and elegant glassware predominantly displayed just about everywhere. Just standing there, you could feel the history and nostalgia from all of the pieces on display.

Craft supplies were neatly assembled in their own area as well. The first thing I noticed was the paints and supplies that could be used to paint rocks to get ready for "Coudersport Rocks 2018."

Behind the counter was a friend who had not seen since high school, but she recognized me right away. I had trouble at first then she gave in to my poor memory, it was Leslie Empson, or as I always knew her, Leslie Fourness.

She and her sister-in-law Rhonda Empson combined forces to open their main street shop and they are doing a fantastic job.

Leslie apologized that she felt the shelves were a little barren, but I did not see what she meant. A stack of beautiful old hat boxes were neatly positioned around tables of glassware and other interesting items. She also had a wonderful display of necklaces of many varying materials and lengths.

"I haven't had the time to attend many estate auctions lately so my stock is a little low," Leslie said. I could not tell, everything was beautiful.

We talked a little about the history of their location a little bit as she asked if I remembered the old shoe store that used to be there. I told her I did remember that as well as when it housed "Smitty's Record Cellar" before he retired.

Leslie explained how the Poppy's Attic side of the business was hers and Rhonda did everything with the craft supplies. Rhonda convinced her to combine the two businesses, bringing the "Attic" downtown from Sweden Valley.

"My dad used to love going to auctions and collecting antiques so we already had a presence in Sweden Valley," she explained. "I really loved it out there, but excited the idea of having a Main Street presence was exciting."

I told her that their store is just the thing that tourists will love, especially everyone coming into Coudersport for the Eliot Ness Festival. She said they were looking forward to it as well.

Unfortunately, I was running out of oxygen so I couldn't browse more, but I definitely plan to check it out again as soon as I can. In fact, everyone reading this should make a note to try and stop by and take a look. So many things there are absolutely fascinating.

Today I am dedicating my progress to Leslie and Rhonda Empson. I wish you well with your endeavors.

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