Doing What You Love
If you are one of the fortunate few whose avocation has become your vocation, then you know how blessed Tom and Diane Strack feel about opening Curly Willow Antiques & Treasures. Center Grove residents until the couple moved to Tennessee in 2003, Diane had always been an antique lover. However, while living Tennessee, a new friend introduced Diane to the world of buying and selling old things. It turned out to be the first step in creating what is now Franklin’s newest antique store.
Several years ago, antique stores filled italization effort in downtown Franklin has brought a rebirth of antique and specialty stores. The corner of Jefferson and Hurricane, on the east edge of downtown, has become a hub for antiques with five stores in the area.
Diane says when she first saw the newly restored home at that location, she fell in love with it. Although the Stracks hadn’t expected to open an antique store for a while, finding this home moved them to action. In just six weeks time and with a lot of help from their son and realtor David Ellis, they were open for business on October 5.
The Stracks have been buying and selling antiques for 10 years. They buy from farm auctions and estate sales. Diane says, “Barn picks are our favorites,” yielding some fine pieces to sell and a few they might keep. The register counter in Curly Willow is an old country store seed counter, still showing its original red paint.
The Stracks especially love primitives, utilitarian things used in traditional homes from the early 1700s through the Civil War era. You’ll find handmade furniture, hand forged iron, redware, decorated stoneware and more filling the store. When I asked Tom to show me something unique, he pointed out some hand forged hearth iron pieces and talked about the workmanship, quality and how hard it is to find pieces like that.
Sure, they have their favorites, but you will find much more inside the old walls of Curly Willow. In addition, you will find fine reproductions to complement the excellent selection of primitives and many unique items from other antique vendors to round out the selection.
If you walk in the store, be prepared to learn in addition to looking and buying. Diane loves to research items and is excited about the historical aspects. While they say they are still learning every day, they both love to share the history of an item and to answer people’s questions. For this reason, Curly Willow will look to host educational workshops.
They are also pleased to carry Chalk Paint® brand decorative paint by Annie Sloan. Curly Willow is the only location where you can buy it on the southside. They will offer Chalk Paint® workshops starting in November.
When you meet Tom and Diane, you’ll know why they opened Curly Willow. “We love being surrounded by history,” she says. They feel very blessed to have this opportunity and are convinced “Curly Willow has truly been a gift from God.”
- Features: Fine Antiques – Great selection of primitives – Annie Sloan Paint
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 12-4 pm.
Curly Willow Antiques & Treasures
498 E. Jefferson St.
Franklin, IN 46131