The usable and unusual

Three generations share decade-long ownership mark of 2nd hand store

For Rick Powell, owning a second hand store is in his blood.

His father, Vernon, opened a similar store in Sweet Home, Ore. when he was growing up and Rick soon developed a passion for the usable and unusual — as he put it — items sold there.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said of spending time in his father’s store. “We used to go to auctions and stuff like that.”

The 59-year-old Powell started Rick’s 2nd Hand, located at 36475 Spur Hwy. in Soldotna, with the mind to sell just what his father did, and more.

“I love antiques when I can find them and anything really,” he said. “Anything I can get my hands on that I can make a little bit of money on.”

In June, Powell and his daughter Mikki Smith celebrated the 10-year mark of starting Rick’s 2nd Hand. Powell said the best part of being in business is the people he gets to meet, especially repeat customers.

“Some little kids used to come in and now 10 years later they come in and they have got families and are still buying from us,” he said.

Before starting the store, Powell worked in the warehouse of a trucking company.

“I got to the point where I wasn’t physically able to do my job out there so I just started in,” he said.

Smith said within six months of starting the business, she and Powell were able to quit their jobs and work the store full time. The items Rick’s stocks has also changed and expanded over time, she said.

“We have everything from antiques to new stuff,” Smith said. “Some of the stuff I order in and Dad goes out and buys all the used stuff. We also have a very large selection of knives. We carry everything from swords and nunchucks and throwing stars down to your basic, useful pocket knife.”

Smith’s daughter Taylor Galley now works at the store during the summer, too, making it three generations in the business.

“To tell you the truth, it’s people I can trust,” Powell said. “I just enjoy having someone I know and trust instead of just hiring anybody.”

Smith said she is optimistic about the store’s future.

“We’ve been here 10 years — they say if you can last that long, you’re officially in business,” she said. “I’ll keep going as long as the old man wants to go.”

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