ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – From housing treasures in storage, to opening a boutique on the north side of Abilene, Junk Warehouse has given the community a wide selection of items with a unique shopping experience.
This store at times, however, gets mistaken for something else, according to Danette Sides, long time friend of owners Larry and Susan Chapman.
“We’ll have men come in, they’ll look it up or see the word ‘junk’ on the outside the building, and they come in here all excited and they’ll kind of look around and they’ll say this isn’t a junk store,” said Sides.
To owners Larry and Susan Chapman, its the story behind of how this store came to be that makes it stand out from the rest. In 2005 and 2006, Larry Chapman was called back to active duty in the Navy. At the time, they already owned the building and where the Junk Warehouse stands now, was just a storage area.
Larry Chapman did not know that when he returned, he would be in the boutique business.
“When I came home, my wife said ‘you need to see my store.’ I said what store are you talking about,” Larry Chapman recalled.
Sides was given instructions to not let Larry Chapman in on what was going on and was sworn to secrecy.
“I call this store my ‘Navy Surprise’, because I had absolutely no idea what she was doing until I came home,” Larry Chapman recalled.
Earlier this year, a new chapter for this place began when Susan Chapman past away during her battle with breast cancer.
“Now you’re going to make me tear up talking about her. We miss her,” Sides said, chuckling through tears.
“We lost her at the end of March this year, and so it still has a lot of her touch, virtually all of it is her touch,” Larry Chapman explained. “Her legacy continues on.”
Larry Chapman, Sides and the Junk Warehouse employees keep her legacy alive through this store with her favorite things, like her favorite color red.
“There’s many of times where we see something or Larry wants to do something, we’ll remind him ‘Susan’s gonna haunt you if you do that’ so she’s still here,” Sides said with a little smirk.
Susan Chapman’s memory and legacy continues on by keeping this store just the way she wanted it, full of life.