WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
After 25 years in the financial industry, Julie Ahlberg felt it was time for something new. She had a great career, but it was never her passion. As Ahlberg and her husband began discussing a possible new direction, they learned of a local business that was for sale. She had always had an eye for home décor and design. The pieces seemed to fall into place in perfect order, and she found herself setting up her new store, troVe, in Portage.
The word trove — a store of valuable or delightful things – is indeed the perfect way to describe what you’ll find upon visiting this well set up shop.
In addition to carrying quality product lines such as Iron Orchid Designs, Annie Sloan Chalk PaintⓇ, and Jellycat Soft Toys, troVe has nearly 30 individual vendors who set up and design their own spaces. This creates an eclectic mix of everything from air plants, reclaimed farmhouse décor, and vintage antiques to one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and repurposed furniture. Ahlberg says the variety of items her vendors bring to the mix is invaluable: “troVe would not be what it is without the vendors.”
With such variety, it’s easy to find the ideal housewarming gift, a treasured baby gift, or an endless supply of truly distinctive hostess or birthday gifts, even if you’re not in the market for home furnishings.
Ahlberg says the trends continue to move toward natural and simple home décor. Things like natural greens and florals, earthy and natural tones with pops of color here and there. She also notes that “vintage items, clean lines, and Farmhouse Industrial styles are very popular right now as well.”
In addition to the interesting items for sale, Ahlberg offers furniture painting classes and fun make-and-take style classes. Workshops have included chalk paint techniques, air plant “bars” where you make your own terrarium, and Scrabble-tile artwork. Stay in touch via the troVe website and Facebook page to hear about upcoming classes.
An important part of the troVe family is the shop dog, Zoie. Ahlberg says her dog is her biggest asset. Everyone smiles the minute they walk in the door and are greeted by Zoie. She is always happy to see you and more than pleased to receive your gentle pets. She will even let you sit down and snuggle with her, if you so desire.
8639 Portage Rd.
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 312-8299 l TroveOfPortage.com