By Ron VandenBoom
It may not be the only store with something unique, unusual or one-of-a-kind, but it might be the only store in the Havre area where everything seems unique, unusual, or one-of-a-kind.
Retro Works has lined its shelves with hard-to-find items that appeal to those with a taste for the unique.
The large assortment of incense located on a rack just in front of the door gives the little store on Fourth Avenue between First and Second Street a sweet aroma the visitor cant help but notice. It sets the mood for a browse through what owner Jay Harmon calls simply a specialty gift shop.
Its a specialty gift shop that prides itself on carrying many items the Havre customer would normally have to drive to Great Falls or Missoula to find.
Bees Wax body products is an example of the type of products Retro Works carries.
Were proud that we are the only one in town that carries it, Harmon said.
All of the products are made from actual bees wax and this includes their line of dog-care products like soap, dog bones, and flea powder.
Other specialty products include an assortment of teas, hemp handbags, and door beads.
New-age jewelry is also a speciality at Retro Works. Although its appeal is geared more to the young, the bead, silver, and leather jewelry is versatile because Retro Works carries the supplies to allow the creative among us to make their own.
The young might also be impressed with Harmons Pro Skateboard selection or some of the safety gear Retro Works also carries for skateboarders.
If the weather is turning too chilly for the skateboarder, you may want to consider the Retro Works line of K2 Snowboards.
Those who prefer to spend their time out of the weather will find a unique assortment of clothing, much of it imported from Guatemala. These are truly one-of-a-kind items and include everything from belts and blankets to ponchos and shirts.
Retro Works completes its journey into the unique with custom wood products that Harmon manufactures to order.
Thats what we try to specialize in, Harmon said. Stuff you cant get elsewhere.
One thing you wont find elsewhere in Havre is a manager who is 14 years of age.
Harmons son, Chance, is the official manager of Retro Works.
He handles 70 percent of what goes on here, Harmon stated proudly. Hes good at it.
During the day, Harmon minds the store while his son goes to school, but come 4 p.m., Chance is hard at it at Retro Works.
Hes also part owner of the business, Harmon said.
Chance Harmons youth shows through in the type and flavor of the merchandise at Retro Works. It is also part of the reason Harmon intends to add inline skates to the list of products.
In fact, Harmon said he has talked about the possibility of creating an indoor skate park with a rock-climbing wall a place where kids could skate or bike.
Harmon, the former owner of a construction company in Cut Bank and a former teacher of Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) at MSU-Northern, said he started Retro Works because he saw a need and jumped on it. But he also described it as fun a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too.
Retro Works is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.