Everlasting Designs and Antiques, 1424 Fifth Ave. S., is more than just the latest addition to Fort Dodge's already bustling Corridor of Commerce. Delise Terwilliger's new business venture, which opens Saturday, is a dream come true for its proud owner. It's also a shopping venue that promises to have appeal to a broad spectrum of customers.
Terwilliger's shop offers an eclectic selection.
Custom floral arrangements are one major focus of the store.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Delise Terwilliger, owner of Everlasting Designs and Antiques, 1424 Fifth Ave. S., sits among her selection of antiques for sale. The shop, which features eclectic selections, also includes floral designs and collectibles.
"I've done floral designing since 1980," Terwilliger said. "I was trained and fell in love with it and have done it ever since. I did stuff at home for people."
The floral arrangements will feature silk and dried flowers.
"I'm going to specialize in mainly custom floral designing," Terwilliger said. "People can bring in their own containers and I'll fill them."
Seasonal wreaths and table floral arrangements will be crafted to suit any requirement or taste.
Antiques and collectibles are also huge parts of the story at Terwilliger's shop.
"I've got a big selection of furniture and glassware and collectibles," she said. "Everything that I purchase comes from down South - from Florida. I go to auctions, consignment shops, tag sales. And then I haul it all up here."
Terwilliger said she makes four trips to Florida each year and specializes in locating items that are unlikely to be found in any other store locally.
"It's a lot of different stuff that you don't see in this area," she said. "Down in Florida they have so many retirees that pass away and estates go up. Stuff comes from all over."
A quick walk through as the shop was being readied for opening day revealed tempting and unusual choices galore.
The oldest item for sale when customers are welcomed will be a bronze, 18th-century statue of a horse with a history can be traced to the Far East. The assortment of antique furniture is extensive. There are teak screens. Near the front door is a round table with chairs emblazoned with Coca-Cola branding that likely once graced an early or mid-20th century soda shop. There are antique beds, tapestries, picture frames, silverware and toys from days gone by. There's an imported lamp from Italy with an ornate porcelain base and the original satin shade. The selection of antique glassware is extensive. There are also some contemporary choices. The list could go on and on.
And, of course, the stock will change constantly once customers find they cannot resist the treasures that are the hallmark of Everlasting Designs and Antiques.
Terwilliger said she wants her shop to appeal to people of all ages, not simply be a haunt for collectors. In addition to the floral arrangements and antiques, there will be an array of other items, including designer-style purses, sunglasses and costume jewelry.
"I hope I don't get just the collectors," Terwilliger said, recognizing that she has many items that will appeal to that clientele. "I hope I get everybody in here to buy gifts - birthday gifts, wedding gifts. Everything is so nice. It all is in good shape."
And for those people in search of something that's hard to find, Terwilliger has an offer.
"If they have been looking for an item, I would in my next venture (to Florida) seek it for them and bring it back," she said.
Everlasting Designs and Antiques is next door to Domino's Pizza. The building was a residence long ago, but in more recent decades housed a barbershop and a hobby shop. There is ample parking behind the building. The store will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. During the inaugural weekend (June 23 and 24) hours will be longer on Saturday (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and there will be Sunday hours (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) even though it will not usually be open on Sunday.
Terwilliger said she hopes to grow her business if the response is good.
"I already have other things that I want to carry that I can bring from Florida," she said, noting that expansion is very much on her mind.