Ray Gora / Lincoln Times-News
LKN Back in the Day in Denver recently completed an expansion that will allow the primitive-gift shop to add more seasonal product lines as the owners gear up for the holidays.
Carrie Wadlinger, who owns the business with Sherry Kinder, told the Times-News on Monday that with the additional space, Back in the Day not only has more room for storage, but it will also be able to offer new Christmas items this year, including a variety of trees, canvass prints and other decorations. The expansion will allow for more “elbow space,” as well, Wadlinger joked.
The new 2,000-square-foot addition will also enable them to house some boutique and baby items, product areas they previously had yet to delve into as much.
“We’ve been working feverishly to get things ready,” Wadlinger said.
She and Kinder originally opened the store, located at 1612 N.C. 16 North, because they felt there were not enough gift shops around, especially those that took advantage of the bounty of primitive and historical items in this part of the country. While Kinder specializes in designing displays, Wadlinger handles most of the business and maintenance duties.
The two decided to go through with the expansion over a year ago when they were having to rent three storage lockers for their extra merchandise, resulting in them having to truck supplies back and forth to the store. They then contracted for the construction in June of last year, with work finally completed this past March.
The additional space, which has the appearance of a barn on the inside, officially opened to customers in June, though they are planning a grand-opening celebration 12-3 p.m. on Sept. 22 to coincide with the store’s two-year anniversary.
While Wadlinger is already looking ahead to Christmas and the opportunity to begin offering more seasonal gifts, she noted that the main portion of the shop currently has plenty of fall items for purchase.
This past Monday was the first Monday of the fall season that Back in the Day was open, and Wadlinger said it was “very busy.”
The store’s hours of operation for the fall will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Beginning in November, it will also be open on Sundays from 12-4 p.m.
To officially kick off the holiday season, they will host a “Christmas Open House” on the first Saturday in November, during which there will be music, food, prizes and a live Santa Claus.
“It’s just a real happy environment, and that’s what we try to do all the time,” Wadlinger said.
They also have “Shoppe Keepers Saturdays” on the third Saturday of each month to allow local artisans and vendors to sell their products under a tent in the parking lot.
“We do everything local if we possibly can,” Wadlinger noted.
For Wadlinger, who moved to the area about four years ago, starting and owning a gift store was the last thing on her bucket list. Now, given the business’ success, she said she’ll have to create a “new bucket list for my second life.”