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New shop blends mix of old and new

Clover & Carriage opened on St. Patrick’s Day in Auburn
By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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One of the first things you’ll see when you enter Clover & Carriage in Old Town Auburn is a 1906 Studebaker carriage. “We bought it in Old Sacramento especially for the store from a car collector,” shop owner Heather Olson said. “It totally sets the tone of the store. In fact, we are in the livery building that used to house animals.” Olson plans to put the carriage, which ”just fits through the door,” into service at least once a year for special sales or events. The boutique is the first retail venture for Olson, who also owns a landscape design company. She opened the doors on St. Patrick’s Day and describes the business as one-third garden, one-third gift and one-third home décor. Many items are from California-based artists and producers. “Being in the landscape-design industry, I know about plants,” she said. “I wanted to have a retail location to sell gift plants and smaller plants. I coupled that with my love for antiques and old items that I find at estate sales.” Delivery is available for large furniture items. Olson and her husband, Erik Smith, have been getting the store ready since December, replacing everything from floor to ceiling. They’ve added a party room for special events — girls’ day out “chic soirees” for adults and birthday bashes for ages up to 12 or 13. The birthday parties include hot tea and a cake provided by the client or cupcakes from a nearby bakery. Then there’s a craft project, such as hand-decorated small mirrors or hand-decorated little purses. “It’s a very customized, more boutique-oriented event — no two exactly the same,” Olson said. “(For example), if the mother knows the daughter likes horses, there could be a horse project.” Attendees will also get a group photo with the horse carriage. “It’s kind of a neat moment for them to remember,” Olson said. The “chic soirees” include lunch brought in from a nearby restaurant In the back of the store, there’s also a “man-tique” section, with antiques — such as old cameras — oriented toward men’s interests. Smith is in charge of that part of the business. “He has some phenomenal wood-panel signs made in the Pacific Northwest,” Olson said. “They’re fully customizable and made from cedar and redwood.” The signs are available in categories such as fly-fishing and various sports that can be personalized with the name of a town or person. The shop is a good fit for Old Town, according to Linda Robinson, owner of Sun River Clothing Company and president of the Old Town Business Association. “(The building) probably have been vacant for six months,” Robinson said. “There was some interest but I think the right choice has been made with Clover & Carriage. She’s using new and old and mixing them into a contemporary look with a shabby chic theme. … She has a lot of energy. It’s always good to have new energy in Old Town and we do like to mix it up a little bit here, so she’s a good addition.” Olson also has a website, which for the moment displays what the store offers. She plans to begin selling items on the site in the near future. Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com. ------------ Clover & Carriage Where: 218 Washington St., Suite D, Old Town Auburn Phone: (530) 823-8500 Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Website: cloverand carriage.com