DOVER-FOXCROFT — Jody Arno is no stranger to Dover-Foxcroft. At her very core, she is a lover of community who is often found supporting local non-profits through hours of volunteerism, and has been involved in the creation of dozens of community-based events over the years, such as Piscataquis Hometown Holidays and The Piscataquis Balloon Festival.
She has always been motivated by her deep desire to provide meaningful, memorable moments for families who live here, and by her deep appreciation for the history of Dover-Foxcroft.
Today, as the owner of The Raven’s Attic East, located on East Main Street in Dover-Foxcroft, Jody is more “in her element” than ever before. Those who have visited her unique shop are in awe of her love and sincere fascination for lost items and their origins. Once you’ve been in her presence, you feel like you’ve been somewhat transported to another place in time; you can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia.
The shop is well-organized and provides an environment that is extremely inviting, visitors say; they love the conversations, both with other patrons and with Jody, who is a fabulous story-teller. Comments on her Facebook page make it evident that people who’ve been there once are hooked, and because of the quality of the items and the reasonable pricing, vacationers and local residents, who say this shop is a fabulous addition to the community, promise they’ll keep coming back.
From a very young age, if you were to ask Jody about her favorite place to be, she would tell you that she’d like to get lost in an old attic for days. She explains, “An old attic is my favorite, searching for lost treasure, looking at things for what they could be instead of what they are, and longing to know the stories hidden throughout;” that’s how The Raven’s Attic East was born.
The shop, once the home of A.P. Kimball General Automotive Repairs, is a playground for attic-lovers like Jody. One can expect to find antiques, restored and repurposed pieces, arts and crafts, Dixie-Belle Paints, jewelry, furniture, and lots of local items steeped in the history of Dover-Foxcroft’s past.
A big part of Jody’s work at the shop is to salvage items and the memories tied to them from previous centuries. “People truly want to walk through their childhood — finding items they used when they were kids, or signs that hung on their favorite storefronts when they were growing up — at affordable prices,” she says.
Denise Buzzelli, executive director of the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce, explains: “I am thrilled that Jody chose to open The Raven’s Attic East here, in Dover-Foxcroft. The shop is unique to our other retail businesses. I think it will draw folks from far and wide.”
With regard to Jody, she explains: “When Jody is around, the lost get found! She has a knack for evaluation; she seems to have a sixth sense about the value of things. And I’ve always been in awe of her creativity and ability to restore items back to their original glory, or find some ingenious way to re-purpose them for their second chance at life.”
The Raven’s Attic East also provides space for artists, crafters, and other creative entrepreneurs who cannot afford their own storefront.
“I look for vendors who are the right fit for my shop, and I’m careful not to bring in competing vendors,” she says. Currently, the Raven’s Attic East has partnered with vendors from Guilford, Dexter, Millinocket, and Charleston.
Though the Raven’s Attic officially opened for business in January 2018, the shop recently underwent renovations, added new vendors and updated displays. The public is invited to a grand reopening of Raven’s Attic East 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3.
Jody and her husband Kirt Slockley, who is often seen on the weekends tending the shop and helping with projects, have been preparing for the event with great anticipation.
“This will be a great opportunity for people to come and see what we are all about,” Jody explains. “We hope to have demonstrations, refreshments throughout the day, and door prizes.”
Jody’s expectation for the day? “My hope is that people will come in and find something they love. We are only temporary hosts to these treasures until they find their new homes.”