Gems are found in local antique shop

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Twice Is Nice, an antiques and collectibles shop in downtown Austin, is a treasure-hunter's paradise.

Every nook and cranny is crammed with jewels from years gone by and someone could spend all day in the shop and still not see everything the store has to offer.

The store opened in 1989 as a clothing consignment store because, as employee Martha Rietsema explains, owner Nancy Schwebke saw "a need for resale clothing."

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Even then, Schwebke says she was looking toward the future of her shop and always planned to expand into antiques, collectibles and gifts.

The shop's second floor and part of the first floor are rented to many different antique dealers.

Pewter candlesticks, furniture, table linens, teapots, Fenton glass, children's toys and hundreds of other items are squeezed on shelves, in glass display cases and any other surface, waiting for a discerning eye to find that perfect something for their home, their collection or to pass along to a friend or relative.

Meanwhile, the front half of the first floor houses the clothing and the eclectic collection of other products Schwebke stocks.

Her clothing selection consists mostly of women's wear for females of all ages. Rietsema says the store stocks clothing by season and that people are welcome to bring in their "gently-used, cleaned clothing that's in good-quality condition."

Schwebke also carries a wide selection of candles including two lines of soot-free candles, which, Rietsema says "are better for your health."

One brand of soot-free candles, called "Bean Pod Candles," is made of wax from soybeans which are made in New Hampton, Iowa. The other, "Bright Light Candles," is made from palm wax.

Schwebke's shop also has started carrying "Shabby Chic"-style framed prints. The line consists of old-fashioned prints-mostly of colorful flowers-with ornate, painted frames. Schwebke says she was inspired to begin selling them because "they work in with the antiques so nicely."

"They're things you would have thrown away 20 years ago, but now you want to keep them all," Rietsema laughs.

Schwebke doesn't have many plans for expanding her store; she just doesn't have the space available for that, she says. However, she does plan to begin offering Americana-themed items in the near future.

"There's such a variety here. Some people like to go into just pottery, but this store has a little bit of everything and that's why customers come," Rietsema says.

Twice Is Nice is located at 313 North Main Street in Austin. The store is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays. Used clothing can be brought in 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For more information call 433-5353.

Call Amanda L. Rohde at 434-2214 or e-mail her at