By Elizabeth Riggs
In the heart of downtown Springville lies a family-run hardware store, where the staff remembers your name and stocks their store with unique, hard to find items. Springville Hardware prides itself on offering a more personal shopping experience than large-chain home improvement stores. In fact, local men still gather there to visit on weekday mornings after dropping off their wives at the local hair salon. And it doesn’t get more small town that that.
Springville Hardware originally opened in 1930, but the hardware store was bought by current owner, Bill Skura, and his father nearly 30 years ago.
“My dad and I were kind of both ready to exit the jobs we had,” Skura said of buying the store. “The store was for sale by the previous owner. We bought it from Bill Miller; they had been running it for quite some time before that. We ended up just enjoying the business.”
Skura explained, “It was pretty much all a hardware store when we bought it. As the business climate changed in Springville, we realized we had to do some other things to remain profitable, so we got into plumbing, heating and electric contract work and the installation of household items.”
The store currently carries everything from top of the line power tools to outdoor lawn tools, to everyday nuts and bolts. But it prides itself on being the final stop for unique, hard to find items that a big chain store doesn’t carry.
“The big stores work on volume and moving a lot of stuff, so they only want to carry items that turn 3,4,5 times a year. We’ll carry an item that only turns once a year,” Skura said. “We carry the more hard to find items or items that they’re not willing to deal with because there’s not enough profit for them. We always have people come in and say they’ve been everywhere else and they finally came to our store and we had exactly what they wanted. You’ve got to give us that first try.”
In addition to carrying hard-to-find inventory, the hardware store also offers services that are hard to come by these days, including window and screen repair, cord repair, key cutting, sewing machine repair and more.
“We perform a lot of services in the store that other stores may not want to get into. It’s someplace people can bring things if they’re not comfortable trying to fix it. They bring it here and we’ll take care of it,” Skura said. “We’ve got the old style key cutter from 20 years ago. We can cut all the keys new key cutters can’t do. There’s a never-ending array of little services like that we can do.”
And if Springville Hardware can’t do it, perhaps Springville Homewear can. The Homewear store, right next door to the hardware store, is also owned by Skura and his wife, Susan Putney.
“It was about 15 years ago that we bought the building next door to do some expansion and my wife had some ideas for the decoration center. The Homewear store kind of sprung out of that,” Skura said.
Homewear is brimming with a variety of country and rustic home décor, such as primitives, folk art and gifts, as well as wallpaper and paint. Putney changes out the décor seasonally, including week-long preparation for Christmas.
“She has a lot of small items, gift kind of items, but also period lighting, period curtains, linens and things and just a lot of different hardwares and things you can use for cabinets. Quite an assortment of things for the home,” Skura said.
In addition to shopping, customers can also consult Putney when redecorating rooms for input on coordinating a redesign.
“She has a lot of talent for helping people pick paint colors, wallpaper colors and complimentary accessories for a room,” Skura said. “She’s got lot of knowledge and a lot of talent in that regard as far as helping people decorate. I’ve got a house that looks like Better Homes and Gardens pages.”
Skura, who is originally from Colden, and Putney, who is originally from Batavia, have lived in Springville for more than 30 years and enjoy supporting the community, both via their businesses and through community teams or events.
“We just think Springville is a great place to raise your family. We support all of the little leagues, soccer leagues, and everyone that walks through the door,” Skura said. “We just feel that we should give back to the community that way. It’s important to us and the community has supported us all these years.”
And Skura hopes the feeling is mutual.
“We hope that the community will continue to support us…The real fabric of the community is the locally-owned businesses. It’s important that people understand that they need to help support us and we need to understand that we need to support the community that we are in.”
Springville Hardware and Springville Homewear are both located at 46 East Main Street. For more information on their products and services, visit their website at hardwareandhomewear.com.