Windows to the past

Camas Antiques features creative displays of whimsey

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Camas Antiques

Camas Antiques is located at 305 N.E. Fourth Ave. The store is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit, call 834-4062 or visit their Facebook page at “Camas Antiques.”

Sidewalk sale: Camas Antiques will host a sidewalk sale on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Several dealers will be setting up outside the store with vintage and garden inspired items. The event will also include a Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan demonstration. Coffee and cookies will be served all day, and the first 50 customers will receive a free gift.

The eye-catching window displays in Camas Antiques beckon visitors inside, much like a lighthouse guides ships in the bay.

Stroll the streets of downtown in any season, and you’ll be greeted by themes which harken back to an earlier era, when business owners proudly showcased their wares.

“I think having the window displays definitely draw more people into the store,” said JoAnn Taylor, owner. “I have been in the store late at night putting these together, and people will peer in and want to shop.

“When we first got the building 12 years ago, one of the main draws were these fabulous windows.”

When Taylor began putting together the displays, she was the only one doing them. Now, several of the antique dealers also participate and often plan their window pieces months in advance.

“I have several talented people that help me out,” she said. “I am fortunate to have dealers who really have an eye for their craft and are passionate about what they do.”

Deanna Docksteader recently featured items from her space, The Doll House, in the front window, which included an antique porcelain doll, various jewelry pieces, a French style dress form, vintage stroller and chair.

“I stick to a simple rule,” she said. “I buy what I love, and only what I love. If I stick with that, it’s like wow, it all goes together.”

Docksteader is constantly updating and redesigning her dealer space at Camas Antiques.

And the key to creating an attractive front window display?

“There are colors that I like and others I stay away from,” she said. “I am always creating in my head, so then it’s just a matter of having it all work together. Sometimes, it doesn’t and I need to pull a few pieces, but I enjoy the process.”

Taylor’s display of “Southern Charm,” in currently featured in the side window. Dark green and cream colored signs and red baskets are included with fried green tomato mixes, fried pickles with a special dipping sauce, spoons, cookbooks, sweet tea hand soap, lotions and bar soap.

“When we go to market, I look for things that will go together,” she said. “We find signs and put together a look. Then I pull items from the rest of the store. It really helps with the sales.”

Clark Crawford, Camas Antiques vice president, also has his items regularly featured in the front windows. His latest creation was an elegant dining room theme.

“As I sell key pieces, I put new ones in and change things around a bit,” he said. “I think the displays totally bring people into the store. You have an idea of what you want to do, then take a key piece to work with and go from there.”

Typically, the antiques dealers are given a few months advance notice, so there is ample time to plan their displays.

Taylor is already collecting items at her house for Halloween and Christmas themed windows.

“Every once in awhile, it’s a surprise because someone cancels at the last minute,” she said. “That’s when we just have to put things together. But usually, we try to plan it better than that.”

Depending on the size of the window dealers are given, it can take anywhere from two to six hours to finish a display.

“It’s worth taking the time to do this, because it really draws people in,” Taylor said. “It’s a bit of nostalgia and people enjoy that. I feel very lucky to have dealers who not only work very hard, but they are always looking for things to make our displays even better.”