ST. HELENS — For the past several months, the streets and buildings in Olde Towne St. Helens have been coming back to life. Items ranging from collectibles to fine china, from turntables to kitchen tables can be found in store windows and shop rooms all along First Street.

In June, Denise Dahrens bucked the economic downturn trend and decided to turn her collectibles into cash when she opened The Apple Blossom at 257 S. First St. (The Chronicle, June 27). Shortly after and just a couple doors down, Tom Miller and his wife Laura opened Trinkets, Treasures and Threads (The Chronicle, July 4) featuring items ranging from quality, second-hand furniture to fishing poles for just $5.

What’s behind this recent renovation of Olde Towne? For some it was just coincidence, for others the efforts of the St. Helens Economic Development Corporation have been key factors and for others, it was just a matter of economics and timing.

Over the next several weeks will profile these new and sometimes relocating businesses in The Chronicle and look at how efforts to make Olde Towne attractive to buyers and business owners have paid off.

While some may think there isn’t room for another store featuring second-hand items in Olde Towne, 2Cs owners Lynn and Diane Carver saw it differently and decided to move their successful shop in Hardy Cave’s antique mall on Columbia River Highway to their new shop at 251 First Street.

“We came here because of the beauty of the location and it is located downtown,” said Lynn Carver. “I had been looking for over a year.”

The prior location for 2Cs left them looking for more.

“We were sorely lacking in space,” said Diane Carver.

Both agreed the open floor plan of their new location contributes to the inviting atmosphere of their shop and gives their vendors plenty of options for displaying their items.

Currently, 2Cs rents vendor space for approximately $1.25 per square foot per month. This means a booth that’s 6 feet wide by 5 feet deep is just $37.50 per month. That’s quite a bit less than space rental fees at many vendor malls.

And for vendors with little time to watch over their spaces, the arrangement at 2Cs is ideal.

2Cs only charges for space rental and does not take a percentage or commission on items sold. In addition, the store is watched at all times by either Diane or Lynn or their store manager, eliminating the need for vendors to present to sell their wares.

The shop currently has about 25 vendors ranging in all sizes with all sorts of items. On the first floor you’ll find children’s items, recycled computers and computer monitors, furniture, antique dresses, hundreds of DVDs or china and glassware. Up in the loft overlooking the first floor there are still some vendor spaces available, although sporting goods items and some furniture is already moving into the space.

2Cs also has a ballroom upstairs, which will be as a “haunted house” during October’s Halloween festivities and may be rented at other times of the year.

With more than 6,200 square feet in total of items for sale, there’s a good chance you will find what you’re looking for.

“We have a touch of everything,” said Lynn Carver.

2Cs is open Wednesdays through Sundays and is across from the Columbia Theater. For more information, call (503) 516-6861.

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