By CHRIS AGEE
The owners of Tattered Teddy Antique Shoppe, which opened Saturday at 103 N.E. 1st Ave., said they are dedicated to providing unique items for antiques collectors of all stripes.
Rollie Hudnell owns and operates the business with his wife, Dianne, and said a longtime interest in history led to their accumulation of various hard-to-find collectibles.
Stationed in Siegelville during his U.S. Army service, Hudnell said he and his wife began dealing antiques and are happy to continue that tradition in Mineral Wells. He said he and his wife are both from this area and look forward to offering locals a chance to own a piece of history.
"It's a passion and fun thing for us," he said. "That's why we wanted to deal in nicer, unique things."
Each section of the store is dedicated to a different area of collecting, including a wide variety of historic military items.
Though he is a Vietnam veteran, Hudnell said, "I never collected military memorabilia [in the past], but now I've got it coming out of my ears and I love it."
From an 18th century fencing sword to a letter from a World War I soldier, Hudnell said he has something for all military history buffs.
Other prominent sections of the store feature antique fishing lures, political artifacts, kerosene lamps and Depression glass.
"All this stuff is just harder and harder to find," he said, explaining the store only offers high-quality items.
Hudnell said future plans include adding coins, stamps and other collectibles to the store's inventory.
Customers can also count on experienced staff revealing some of each item's history. Generally, either he or his wife knows something about any item in the store.
"We make a good team," he said.
He also said there is plenty to attract those interested in local history.
"Mineral Wells and Mineral Wells history has a lot of meaning to me," he said, noting there are numerous items related to the Baker Hotel and other prominent local landmarks on display at the store.
Though the store has been open just a few days, Hudnell said the initial community response has been very positive.
In addition to offering antiques to current clients, he said he also hopes to help usher in a new generation of collectors.
"It is neat helping people and encouraging people – especially younger people – to get into antiques," he said.