His and Hers antiques

Even with his love of restoring old things, when Sarah and Jim Kieffer of St. Charles first met, Sarah often found herself antiquing alone.

"So many shops are just full of antiques and collectibles for women," she said.

That meant her husband would say, "I'll wait in the car."

Guys won't wait in the car at Sarah's Uniques and Jim's MANtiques, which opened in the end of August at 1113 Whitewater Ave. in downtown St. Charles.

At the back of the shop, Jim sells old tools, traps, furs, railroad items, old beer lights — anything that a man would collect. He enjoys soaking and cleaning old corroded tools and restoring cast iron pans so they are seasoned and ready to use, Sarah said. 


As for the Uniques, Sarah seeks out anything unusual, hard-to-find or that catches the eye, including glassware, jewelry, furniture and a lot of kitchen items, such as butter churns and Red Wing crocks.

Most of the items come from the couple's own collection from shopping at auctions and estate sales.

"I like to get the history of a piece," she said. "The best part of my job is getting to talk to people."

Sarah also has a book where people can list what they're searching for and she'll keep an eye out as she shops.

Sweet deals for Halloween

Still shopping for a Halloween costume? The best way to get a topical look is to create your own, said Lisa Ritter, director of marketing for Goodwill Easter Seals.

Her husband, for example, is going as a Chilean minor, and she and her friends are probably donning the smart '60s styles as the cast of "Mad Men."

All of the pieces, except for the Lucky Strike cigarettes, came from Goodwill.


In addition to its supply of new, prepackaged costumes, accessories for children and adults and previously worn costumes, the thrift store is full of possibilities.

Popular this year is for groups of friends to create themed costumes, such as characters from "Twilight" or the cast of "Glee," she said.

Several more ideas and descriptions of how to get the look are on the Goodwill website .

Goodwill is also holding a costume contest . To qualify, at least one costume item must be purchased at a participating Goodwill store between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31. The deadline to enter is Sunday.

"Halloween for Goodwill is equivalent to Christmas for any other retailer," Ritter said. "It's the biggest time of year for our stores."

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