For close to half a century, Mills Hardware opened its doors to customers at the northwest corner of Louisiana Avenue and Second Street in downtown Perrysburg. Now, with the hardware store closed, the building will be home to Artforms, starting in October.
Artforms, currently a block away at the corner of Louisiana and Front Street, will move into the bigger quarters, which will include a new hot shop for glass blowing. Its current location will close.
Bruce Brigode, who owned Mills Hardware and owns the building, said he had a ‘we’re closing’ sign up for three days before Artforms owner, Kristin Kaminsky, walked in to inquire about the space.
Mrs. Kaminsky, who owns Artforms with her husband, Steven Kaminsky, said they have been in their current location 13 years.
She concedes that for however long her business operates in its new spot, locals still will refer to the location as Mills Hardware, a business that she misses too.
While renovating the store, she has joked several times that she needs to go to Mills Hardware for supplies.
“We miss the hardware store, everyone loved it and wish there was a hardware store around because we would go several times a week,” Mrs. Kaminsky said.
“We’ve wanted to expand and keep growing. We are going to start giving lessons and have some blow time in our hot shop for glass.”
Among the building’s early occupants was Kazmaier’s grocery store on one side and a slaughterhouse on the other.
One of the slaughterhouse’s brick-lined back rooms is ideal for the hot shop, Mrs. Kaminsky said, and a window will be cut into its wall to allow observation of glass blowing.
There also will be a children’s area and chalkboard.
Artforms has fine jewelry, custom jewelry and repair, and watch repair.
About 20 local artists are associated with Artforms, including Janelle Schneider who also works at the shop and says she loves the laid-back, family environment.
There are several “door greeters” at Artforms who will move down the block, including Albert, a golden retriever; a Labrador retriever named Daisy, and George, a Great Pyrenees.
While Mrs. Kaminsky is nervous about moving and trying to get ready for October after their lease ends Sept. 30 in their current location, she is excited to see people “flip out” when they walk into the new store and see the changes.
Bright orange, blue, and green colors have been painted over new drywall that replaced old wooden walls.
“It doesn’t look anything like the hardware store, and it is not supposed to,” Mr. Brigode said. “And I love it.”