Dan and Teresa Tiedtke pictured their retirement years being an opportunity for them to enjoy a shared passion of antiquing.
They hadn’t given much thought to making a business out of it, but an opportunity presented itself and they recently opened Highway 15 Salvage Company, a new store at 311 Main Street in downtown Wayne.
The Tiedtkes have long shared a passion of looking for antiques, and Mrs. Tiedtke said it was something they thought they would enjoy more in their later years.
“Dan and I have been antiquing and junking for as long as we’ve been married, and probably longer,” she said. “We knew eventually we’d like to do something like this down the road when we retired, but it just fell into place us at a time where we thought we needed something different.”
The Tiedtkes bought the building a few years ago and rented it out to a nail salon business for a short time, but once that company moved they felt the time was right to renovate the building and start up their own shop.
“This idea became more real after that and we kind of pursued it from there,” Dan Tiedtke said. “We gutted the front of the building about a year ago and I’ve been running my construction business out of the back and we just started working away and now here we are.”
Dan Tiedtke has a passion for woodworking, and shoppers can see some of his efforts in the store, which is part antique and part the creative efforts of the Tiedtkes.
“Teresa makes a lot of interior design things and I’m doing some tables and furniture, so we’re trying to do some different things along with the antiques,” he said. “Woodworking is what I like to do the most, and this is a way for me to do some of that and do some things that you don’t see a lot of in a small-town shop like this.”
The Tiedtkes like to make their “junking” trips a family affair, bringing along 9-year-old son Broderick and 7-year-old twins Bryn and Myles. They look for things that interest them as well, like an old fireman’s helmet Broderick found on a recent trip.
Dan Tiedtke said the family has gotten a lot of calls from people looking to move or downsize and get rid of a lot of old items, so they enjoy those trips as well as their family antiquing adventures.
The Tiedtkes like to repurpose items they find to bring a new life to the old materials, like an old tractor bucket seat that Dan Tiedtke turned into a bar stool.
“We do like to repurpose things where you get something and make it into something new, like turning a pickup box into a bookshelf,” Teresa Tiedtke said.
“I like the idea of saving old stuff and if we can modernize it and bring it back, somebody can put it in their home,” Dan Tiedtke added.
They’re also open to creative ideas that customers can bring into the store. Dan Tiedtke said he loves the idea of creating something from a customer’s idea.
“If your wife saw something on Pinterest and would like somebody to make it, we’ll do it,” he said. “We really like to make custom things and we’ll make our own things that we think are cool and hopefully people will buy it.”
Teresa Tiedtke also features some of the items she sells as a Mary & Martha home-based business, and the signs and other items can also be seen on the store’s walls.
With the success of other antique businesses like Rustic Treasures, both Dan and Teresa said the door has been opened for businesses to bring people into the community to shop downtown.
“We used to do a lot of antiquing in small towns like Wayne and would hit every shop, and that’s the nice thing about people who love to go antiquing,” he said. “If there is more than one store in town, they’ll go to all of them, and we refer people to (Rustic Treasures) as well.”
The Highway 15 Salvage Company is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays.