Jane’s Artifacts has been an iconic part of life in the Wood River Valley for almost 35 years now.
Ever since 1985, when Jane Drussel opened Jane’s Paper Place in Ketchum, Jane’s has supplied everything from office goods to items needed to celebrate birthdays or decorate for your favorite holiday.
“When we opened I had a vision of doing things a little bit differently. I wanted to make things more diverse than just office products,” Jane said. “We started small and just kept growing.”
As the years passed, Jane’s kept expanding her Giacobbi Square location and also opened the Jane’s Holiday House on Main Street in Ketchum as well as a second Jane’s Paper Place in Hailey in 1987.
“We have everything. We were like an old Five and Dime,” said Jane, who grew up in Oklahoma before moving to Idaho in 1970.
In 2004, Jane decided to retire and sold the business. But the new owners did not survive the recession and in 2009, Jane’s was closed.
Heartbroken, Jane and her husband, Kenny, decided to re-open Jane’s Artifacts in Hailey soon thereafter. The store has been thriving ever since. When asked about her keys to success Jane said it’s really pretty simple
“Custom service is very high on the totem pole. Without that you don’t have any customers,” Jane joked. “Being able to communicate well is really what it’s all about.”
Many of Jane’s employees have been with her for years, familiar faces like Rachel Lee, Hugo Chavez and Gayle Rabe. George Green has been with Jane for 30 years and Jane has always employed local high school students. Something she’s been doing for so long now that the children of some of her former employees have also worked for her.
“It’s very special, to be able to provide work and experiences for young people, to give them a boost in life,” said Jane, who raised a family of her own locally.
In 2016, Jane reopened the Holiday House, just behind her Hailey location. It has become the place to go for any holiday. And just like with all her stores over the years, Jane is always trying to bring in new and different things to make it interesting for people every time they come in.
As for the future, Jane lost her beloved Kenny earlier in the year, but she is going keep on plugging away, running her store and doing anything she can to help our community.
“Well, I’m 80,” she said. “ We’ll see how long this old broad keeps wandering down the path.”
By Mike McKenna
This story originally appeared in the Weekly Sun
Jane’s Holiday House at 12 East Bullion Street in Hailey will host this month’s Business After Hours, on Thursday, December 19th from 5-7pm. Jane’s will offer 30% off everything in the Holiday House during the BAH and Santa will be there. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Jane’s Artifacts at 208-788-0848.