Store with unusual name offers fresh take on vintage

JEWELL – In spite of its name, the newest retail store on Main Street in Jewell does not sell gravy.

Gravy Home Goods does offer for sale an eclectic mix of intriguing items, though, what co-owner Rachel Faga calls “a fun, fresh take on vintage. We lean toward mid-century modern and found objects. These are real artifacts.”

“We’re finding beauty in what has been around and been loved,” said her business partner, Joan Fairchild.

“We’re very good at scouring thrift stores. We brake for garage sales,” Fairchild said about where they get their stock. “We’re not for the uptight, by any means. We’re very relaxed. We are the details. We are the personality.”

The result is a store brimming with unusual offerings too numerous to catalogue, ranging from frames to funiture, afghans and jars, scales and scrabble pieces, a crystal chandelier hanging from a ten-foot tall stepladder and an iron bedstead. “We also have things that people haven’t quite discovered yet,” Fairchild – a former graphic artist who also ran a business, Old Lady Stucco, from her Jewell home – said with her frequent smile.

“We really like what’s earthy, urban industrial, the green earthy look,” notes Faga, a former graphic artist and interior designer who lives in Story City. “We want to cater to the 20s-30s young adult. It’s affordable, but it’s hip and fun. There’s excitement in finding and making it your own. We are the details. We are the personality.”

Indeed, the personality of Gravy Home Goods reflects the passion the two women have for how they do their new venture. The Main Street building where it’s located has a story of its own. In earlier days it has housed a harness shop and a millinary store, among other things, and was most recently home to the Jewell American Legion post before sitting unused for some time. Jewell Area Development Enterprise had purchased the building and rehabbed it, hoping to locate a business there.

Fairchild and her husband, Grant, who have lived in Jewell for two decades, started talking to JADE a year ago about purchasing the building for a business and a home in the second-floor apartment. JADE acquired the unused building several years ago and renovated it so it would be ready when the right opportunity came along. And, with renovations to the 1,100-square-foot living area on the second floor now nearly complete and the main floor store open for business, that’s just what’s happening.

The store is part of what Faga terms “a junk circuit” in several area counties that draws folks with similar tastes from a wider area via the highways and Interstate 35. Gravy Home Goods has been open about a month now.

“This feels good to us,” Faga muses about how the new venture is going by now. “People tell us they like our style, so that’s how we roll.”

And how did the store’s name come about? “We were trying to create a mood and kept going back to food, as the world often does,” answers Fairchild. “Gravy is something you put on top of something to make it better.” And so the name Gravy Home Goods was born.

Store hours are Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.