Collecting for some people is a hobby, but for one local couple it became a lifelong pursuit. Joel and Karen Blasius, of Tea have had a booth at I-29 Antiques for 25 years. That makes them one of the first, according to store owner Randy Maas who said the antique and collectible mall located just west of the Tea exit opened in 1991.
Joel said that it began as a way to sell some of their extra items.
“We were always collectors, and accumulated a lot of stuff,” he said, “We applied for a booth, and we still have it.”
He thought they might only have the booth for six months, but instead of just selling the extras, they began buying items just to sell. Karen explained that she and Joel started a partnership with their longtime friends, Don and Cheryl Klein from Dell Rapids. The foursome have been friends for 50 years, and sell under the business name 4 Gotten Treasures.
Booth #66 is the 4 Gotten Treasurers booth. Karen neatly displays all kinds of interesting and unique finds like small pieces of furniture, linens, costume jewelry, postcards, kitchen items, toys, dishes, books, records, games, pictures, hats, gloves, quilts and more.
Booth #40 is Joel’s domain, filled with license plates, gasoline and oil items, vintage tools, knives, axes, hatchets, fishing, hunting, and sports items.
He says he appreciates the help Karen provides with displaying the items. He smiles as he says to her, “I like to have her help me, she’s very good at it.”
It’s obvious that the couple enjoys their time together. Karen said, “the antique business is something that Joel and I can do together and I enjoy digging for the items that sell.”
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