Kathy's Barn in downtown Tama is actually a pair of storefronts with some 5,000 feet of floor space. But owner Kathy Meyer does have a barn. Both the Tama store and the rural Marshalltown barn are chocked full of what Kathy says are "antiques, furniture, primitives, funky junk, unique items and much more."
If that's not enough, her merchandise also occupies the center space down the street in Tama in the 2nd Hand Store.
She says her expansion gave her four timess the floor space than her old spot down the street. And with her move, downtown Tama continues to build its reputation as a haven for collectors with TJ's Treasures, the Fleur de Lis, Sweet Repeats and The Pawn Store joining Kathy and the 2nd Hand Store.
She started here with space in the 2nd Hand Store, expanded down the street to the east a year ago and relocated to her present location at 229 West 3rd in February.
Her newest location features a pressed tin ceiling which compliments much of her inventory. It was formerly occupied by Maus Furniture. The west half of the space was once the Candy Kitchen and later occupied by an expansion of the Bee Hive Department Store.
Kathy got into the business in 2001 using eBay, the internet auction site, when she was needed to stay at home with her mother who was ill. Previously she had worked for another dealer on eBay.
Kathy Meyer at the counter of her recently relocated Kathy’s Barn in downtown Tama on Thursday, March 27.
News-Herald photos/John Speer
When she and her husband, Ed, bought their rural property, it included "the barn." Then it was full of old hay she said and was a real challenge to her allergies to get it cleaned out. But she did and built her business from there.
Right now among the items you'll find at her locations are furniture and other items which fit the popular "repurposing" trend.
"I don't do it," Kathy says of modifying items for other uses. She says this is one way she can offer her stock at fair prices.
Kathy's Barn far-ranging inventory includes dressers, cupboards, crockery, metal signs, feed and seed sacks and decorator items. There's a display of aprons, pictures and frames, trunks and quilts.
She gets her goods from auctions, flea markets, garage and yard sales and from persons with items to persons with items to sell walking in the door.
Kathy's Barn in downtown tama is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-5 p.m., and Thursday, Friday and saturday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
229 W. 3rd &
display in 2nd Hand Store
both in downtown Tama
2927 170th St.,
Facebook: Kathy's Barn
The Barn at 2927 170th St., Marshalltown, is right now open by appointment but will have summer hours from May - October.
These operations are not enough for Kathy: she is scheduled to have sales booths at several regional collectors events this summer. The first is the Junk Jubilee at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines April 25-27.
While she continues to also sell items on ebay, Kathy says the internet social media site Facebook has also been a boon to her business.