Rare Earth Decor, a gift shop in Ridgefield, sells a number of unique items that include trinkets crafted out of recycled glass from Indonesia and metal sculptures from various parts of the United States.
Manager Kolby Collins originally studied to become a journalist but found her calling at the store which her mother, Suzie Dietz, owns. The store will enter its 21st year of business on Oct. 1.
“It’s my mom and I, and she first got into retail in 1995,” Collins said. “She owned a store in downtown Vancouver called Cellophanes with my older sister.”
Once Collins’ sister became pregnant, she said Dietz closed Cellophanes and later Rare Earth Decor came to fruition.
“We just really strive to carry unique (things),” Collins said of Rare Earth Decor. “Our premise is to try not to buy anything twice for the most part, except for your staples like your soap and candles and stuff, and then only carry minimum so it keeps it fresh, unique, and the people aren’t buying the same things as their neighbors.”
She said the business gets most of its items at various markets, which is how they found the seller they acquire recycled items from.
“It’s all handmade in Indonesia. … All the wood on them is teak-treated driftwood, all the glass is recycled glass (and) real stones that they use” she said. “They also use a feather rock, and they’re fair trade too, so they take really good care of their workers.”
The store carries stones and crystals from various countries like Brazil and Madagascar, Collins said. It also features table lamps and floor lamps that are handmade in the Philippines out of jackfruit leaves, butterfly tree leaves, and various other items.
Rare Earth also sells sculptures that are made out of recycled metal from Yardbirds, which they found after some trial and error.
“There’s a lot of recycled metal companies and artists out there, and a lot of it that we found over the years, like if it’s painted, the paint just comes right off. … The material’s very thin and not good quality,” she said. “And the Yardbirds, theirs are pretty thick. You could probably throw one and it will just be fine.”
The eyes on the sculptures are made out of recycled glass. Collins enjoys selling recycled goods and believes people can tell the difference in quality when the items are handmade.
“You can tell the welding on it is very nice. We’ve been carrying Yardbirds for, I want to say, at least 15 years. Their quality has been consistent. It’s not really thin. It’s really thick metal,” Collins said.
One of the sculptures features a dog that is playing golf. By going to the various vendor markets, Collins saw how artists decorate their sculptures, which inspired her to put a bandana and sunglasses on the retriever.
Collins said they also try to excel in customer service by offering perks like a layaway program and complimentary gift bagging for items over $30.
Rare Earth Decor is located at 109 S. 65th Ave., Suite 108, Ridgefield. The business is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.