Juanita's Folly to open soon in downtown Guttenberg

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Juanita's Folly grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2. Business owner Juanita Loven, left, and Cheryl Meyer Knock-Off purse designer, right, are preparing for the event. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Juanita's Folly, located in Guttenberg on the corner of River Park Drive and Goethe Street, has scheduled a grand opening for  Saturday, Feb. 2, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. with live music by Bruce Byrant - Carpe Diem performing from 1-3 p.m.

Longtime resident Juanita Loven had this to say about her upcoming business venture: 

"The impetus for Juanita's Folly was the need for us to start downsizing our household. Visiting with friends, they also expressed the need to also do the same."

Loven has an original quote she relies on to keep her inspired: "If you feel strongly about a specific cause, don't think of yourself as too young or too old — go for it. You never know what can become of it!"

Loven is no stranger to the business community. She was involved with the Old World Inn, in Spillville from 1987-1990 and owned and operated Books Etc. in Guttenberg for 10 years. She notes that the key to her success is her supportive husband, Russell Loven. 

The new shop will house new and consigned home furnishings, antiques, books and what not. 

Repurpose-Reuse-Recycle-Up cycle is Loven's motto for her store.  

"Besides recycling our many possessions, it is hoped that this corner shop will serve as another shop for local citizens and visitors to browse and, hopefully, find treasures," stated Loven.

Consignors are asked to meet with Loven first regarding what kind of merchandise they would like to place in the shop and set up a delivery appointment. Items must be in clean, working condition before consideration for inclusion in the store. A written list with a suggested selling price is requested. If merchandise is not clean, a cleaning charge will be assessed.  

Commissions for consignors are 60% to the seller that retains their profit and 80% to sellers wishing to donate their earnings to a local non-profit. All artists will receive an 80% commission.  

"Thus, Juanita's Folly will initially retain 40% to 20% of sales to hopefully cover the costs of doing business," said Loven. 

Once the store is fully established, Loven hopes to create more policies to determine how long to keep goods at the original price, a discount schedule, and removal plans. A simple contract will be agreed upon with each consignor. 

Local artists, crafters 

Juanita's Folly will also feature local artists and crafters. 

"As supporting the arts is very important to me, I would like to serve as a kind of 'incubator' for artists and crafters," commented Loven. 

Local artisans will be invited to create a small display of their products along with an information piece telling where additional items can be purchased. 

Featured artist Cheryl Meyer, recently retired to the area with her husband. 

Meyer stated, "A closer location to family, Guttenberg's strong arts community and the Mississippi River were the main reasons we chose to retire in Guttenberg."

I sat down and visited with Meyer as she described the inspiration for her Knock-Off purse line. 

"It started as a joke when our cousins, my husband and I were visiting. They were talking about their daughter-in-law and how she disliked 'knock-off' purses. We joked that wouldn't it be fun if someone designed original knock-off purses. That's where my God-given creative brain took over."

Meyer's Knock-Off purse line and many other treasures can be purchased at Juanita's Folly. 

* * *

Winter store hours will be from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Saturday, or by appointment or chance. 

For further information, contact Loven at 563-252-1310 or 563-880-7662. You may also e-mail Loven at lovenrj@alpinecom.net.

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