RE-NU in Downtown Hutchinson Named Small Business of the Month

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Restoring, repairing and renewing are familiar expressions for those who love old objects or collectibles. For a Hutchinson resident with a hobby of reinventing old objects, repainting them and refurbishing them, RE-NU became the perfect name for a downtown storefront.

Steve Fiffe, the owner of RE-NU, said the name derives from the treatment of ancient objects with time and thought rather than a precious or ancient object.

“I take care of every item that comes into my shop. I restore them, give them a fresh coat of paint, and treat them well,” Fiffe said.

The Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce has named RE-NU, an eclectic and antique home decor store downtown, the top Small Business of the Month of 2022.

Fiffe described RE-NU as a destination in Hutchinson, where some of its customers come from outside Hutchinson.

“We call ourselves very eclectic, and everyone agrees with that, we can’t really describe what we’re talking about. You have to come in and see for yourself,” Fiffe said.

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Fiffe said he turned his hobby into a full-time business after his parents closed their family liquor store, Fiffe Liquor, on 30th Avenue in Hutchinson. He was looking for a new opportunity to continue running a retail store and decided antiques would be his next direction.

In 2013, Fiffe and his wife, Shirley, purchased the historic building at 7 S. Main St., which was built in 1885 and housed a butcher and grocery store before it fell vacant.

RE-NU opened in May 2014 after Fiffe spent a year restoring and renovating the building, repairing the antique tin ceiling and fixing the walls and floors.

“We wanted to join in and find an old building to fix like everyone else, and now a lot of other people are doing the same thing, even this block has changed a lot since we opened,” Fiffe said.

Live the present, prepare for tomorrow

RE-NU had a unique opening year, matching the store’s pattern with record sales that remain unbroken, but after major stores like Target and Dillards left Hutchinson in recent years, numbers have dipped since their opening year. ‘opening.

Fiffe said the numbers drop each time a store leaves by about 5-10% after its first year.

“It affected us because they were pulling traffic out of town,” he said.

A large metal bull skull sits on an antique coffee table next to a vintage jewelry armoire in the eclectic decor and antique shop RE-NU located on Main Street in downtown Hutchinson.

Fiffe continues to gain customers from across Kansas and the United States by expanding into a warehouse in 2018 where it sells larger antiques and specialty collections. He named the new building at 800 E. 4th Ave. The Warehouse.

The shop is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, or by appointment.

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Fiffe started RE-NU with simple intentions, beginning with developing his passion for restoring antiques.

Selling new items has been a recent change as trends come and go faster each year, Fiffe said this is one of the reasons RE-NU has expanded outside of antiques.

“The market has changed so much, and that’s just today’s society. Before, you would go to the market in January, and it was like that. Then you went to find out what would be hot next year Now it’s almost day by day,” Fiffe said.

Unique decor alongside antique items are for sale in the downtown historic building where RE-NU uses the owner's skills to restore and repair antiques on Main Street in downtown Hutchinson.
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