Meet Nora at the Carriage Shoppes!


If you’ve ever been to Elizabeth, you’ve been on Main Street. Down at the end, in a dramatic red building, is a treasure trove of antiques, home décor, and the perfect little knickknacks to fill those empty household shelves. It’s called The Carriage Shoppes. We spoke to the owner, Nora Nikkel, and asked how she started her business.

Eyes twinkling, she answers, “I just ‘happened’ into the antique business; I never dreamed of it, never planned, it just happened. Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever even think of having a store, but it’s been a wonderful experience.”

It started when she moved out of a 1914 house near the Lafayette-Boulder area to Elizabeth. She and her husband, Harvey, built a southern type house with pillars and dark wood, so she started selling off her country pieces and replaced them with dark wood. Once she’d been doing that for several years, as people heard about it, they wanted to be on her mailing list to buy her things. They starting asking if she’d sell things for them. Harvey said, “Why not just buy the furniture and resell it?”

She ran a store with a partner for awhile, before taking time off to handle her daughter’s wedding arrangements. After that, she had many people in town asking her to open another store. Nora says, “One day I was walking down the street, and saw my current location for sale, and the rest is history!”

Nora’s store is a visual delight, antique furniture mingled with unique gifts and knickknacks. Casting her eyes around lovingly, Nora says, “I purchased my first antique when I was twenty. I’ve always been intrigued with the stories that antiques bring. I love to imagine who used it and how excited they were when they got a new piece of furniture in the late 1800s and early 1900s. So I began collecting! Antiques never go out of style and they never lose their value.”

I ask her what her favorite piece in the store is and she laughs. “I have so many favorites. The really outstanding pieces I get in, I decide that’s my new favorite piece. I feel like selling antiques is kind of like having grandchildren, because you get to enjoy them and then you send them home with someone else!”

“What do you love most about your business?”

She answers, “The people.” There’s no doubt about that. Nora has a smile for everyone and delights in taking the time to talk with her customers. She adds, “The people in this area are so, so nice and it’s interesting that when out of town visitors come in, often they take on the personality of the laid-back, relaxing atmosphere that we have here in Elizabeth.”

Indicating the store bustling with merchandise, I ask, “Is that all you love about your business?”

“Oh, no! I love the fun I have in doing the displays!”

Browsing, I ask when she started adding gifts and other things to her antique business. Nora answers, “I soon discovered that people weren’t just interested in antiques, but also looking to purchase unusual new items. So that’s why we branched out into home décor and gifts and fashion.”

Those entering the store can expect a warm, inviting space filled with unique gifts, jewelry, furniture, and everything you need to put the final touch on your home. It’s beautiful year-around, with an ever-changing array of new things coming in!