CREEDE- For the past 46 years, Rare Things Gallery has graced the store fronts along Main Street in Creede. The windows showcased glistening treasures of different shapes and sizes. Intricate jewelry lined the glass cases and it was easy for anyone to walk through Rare Things to find something special for themselves, a friend or loved one. Owner Jenny Inge fell in love with Creede in 1974 when she visited the area with her ex-husband. “Some of our older friends had hired us to drive their Jeep to this town in Colorado and ever since that day I fell in love with Creede and decided to make it my home. I have been here for 46 years and I have no intention to leave,” said Inge.
In an emotional interview, Inge highlighted her years since opening her store in the mid-70s.
Reminiscing about how much the community and her patrons meant to her and how much she loved having the opportunity to be a part of something so special for so long. “I am just really proud and really sad because of the hole it will leave in the community, but it will also be an opportunity for me to be more involved in other ways.”
Inge talked about how difficult and rewarding it was to keep a gift shop in a place like Creede that depends almost solely on tourism for income throughout the busy summer months. “In the last few weeks, I have had people, even grown men, come to me and tell me they have been coming to my store since they were children and how much they look forward to coming every year they visit,” said Inge.
Inge was one of the founding members of the Creede and Mineral County Chamber and remained extremely active in the community during her 46 year run with Rare Things Gallery. She intends on spending her time continuing to be involved as much as she can. “I am going to ride off into the sunset, travel and ride some more. I plan on still making some of my jewelry and though I don’t know how yet, I plan on making it available to buy.”
“I am really grateful to be a part of this community and I will continue to be a part of it. Just being able to have more time to be involved will be great. My proudest moment was realizing just how much this store has meant to people throughout the years. I made my decision to close before the COVID-19 pandemic, and though it did play a factor in the store closing, it was not the main reason. Because of COVID-19 it would have been difficult to pick up the pieces but honestly, and more than anything, it was just time.”
Inge plans to spend her days making jewelry, riding her horses and traveling. She plans to keep the store open until the end of September and encourages all of her patrons to come visit her before her final day. “I just can’t express enough how grateful I am for the years I spent here with my store and how much this community has meant to me.”