Urbana’s Kaleidoscope gets new owner


Urbana resident Michelle Smith always wanted her own shop.

“It was always my dream to open my own shop,” she said. “The opportunity never came up while raising four kids. But now they are grown. When the opportunity came up to buy it. I jumped on it.”

Smith is the new owner of Kaleidoscope, 117 N. Main St. She was a vendor at the shop for more than a year and a vendor in primitives over 10 years.

Smith graduated from Kenton Ridge High School in Springfield and moved to Urbana 24 years ago.

“I knew I wanted to be in business,” she said, noting when her children were younger they had a business pouring candles. That business, 3H’s, named after her daughters Heather (Mike White), Heidi (Justin Geer) and Hannah Smith, helped pay for their sports costs.

Now that they are older and on their own, she has the time to devote to her own business. She plans to keep the Kaleidoscope tradition alive, with vendors who are always looking for unique antique and vintage items.

Smith said an old favorite, Rick the Toy Man, will be back at Kaleidoscope selling his vintage toys. Three new vendors will be joining her shop within the next month. Vendors will offer everything from antiques to a mix of modern items, she said.

The shop’s other distinguishing characteristic is the music. Smith plays 1960s, ’70s and ’80s music for a cheerful atmosphere for people browsing the shop.

Smith said she wants eventually to expand the business upstairs, for a larger section of primitive items. She has opened the back staircase and begun filling the upstairs with “all kinds of treasures.”

She also hopes to start a family business out of it, and two of her daughters have shown an interest in learning the ropes.

In addition to her daughters, Smith has a son, Drew, and six grandchildren (with a seventh on the way).

“I love it. This is my passion,” she said. “I love the shop, the atmosphere of the shop and Urbana. A lot of people come from out of town to shop for antiques.”

Michelle Smith is the new owner of Kaleidoscope in downtown Urbana.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/05/web1_Kaleidoscope-1.jpgMichelle Smith is the new owner of Kaleidoscope in downtown Urbana. Casey S. Elliott | Urbana Daily Citizen

By Casey S. Elliott

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Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

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