By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
What do you get when you mix a myriad of everyday and specialty items at good prices, faith and friendly service? Momma Duck’s Treasures at 1801 Locust Ave. in Fairmont is the result of that particular pleasing combination.
The super spacious secondhand and overstock store is neatly filled with an abundant selection of clothes for all ages and sizes (preemie to adult 6X), shoes, home furnishings and decor, dishes and decorative glassware, domestics, electronics, toys and miscellaneous items.
The shop also offers an assortment of evening gowns for proms, graduations or any formal event.
“We have a great selection for students for homecoming events that are coming up,” said owner Mildred A. O’Ferrell.
O’Ferrell must love the numbers “2” and “9”, because she prices store items in the 29 cents to $299.99 range.
But shoppers won’t find a price tag or sticker in the library section. Surprisingly, she gives away all the store’s books and Bibles. “They’re all free,” O’Ferrell said.
She’s especially eager to be generous in getting a Bible in someone’s hands. “If a Bible helps one person, to me, it’s worth it,” she said.
It’s obvious faith is a priority to O’Ferrell. Throughout the large store, the walls are painted with Christian inspirational messages such as “What Would Jesus Do?”.
Along with a relative, O’Ferrell opened Momma Duck’s Treasures March 1, 2013, but since May 29, 2014, she has been the sole owner. The Doddridge County native, who now lives in Enterprise in Harrison County, is an experienced entrepreneur in dealing with secondhand or overstock merchandise. O’Ferrell previously owned a 21,000-square-foot thrift store in Melbourne, Fla.
She returned to West Virginia for family reasons. Though she said she misses the almost-all-sunny Florida weather, she said she’s happy to be back in her home state and enjoys the people here.
Recently some very-regular customers stopped in at Momma Duck’s – Janie Cochran and her two young sons, Caden and Camden Woody.
“We’re here every Tuesday and Wednesday,” Cochran said, as her sons gleefully laid their chosen toys on the counter. “There’s a lot of different items to choose from and we get very good bargains. And my boys absolutely love the toy aisle.”
Cochran added that she appreciates the personal attention and genuine friendliness O’Ferrell shows them.
“We like Mildred,” she said. “She’s very nice. And she’ll always help us find what we want.”
O’Ferrell said a perk of her job is all the people she meets, many who become friends. “I enjoy all my customers,” she said.
She credits her father with giving her some wise advice. “Dad said, ‘Always treat the customer the way you want to be treated and you’ll never have a problem.’”
O’Ferrell gets her stock from churches, online sites and retailers’ overstocks, individuals and estates.
Though the store is large and packed with thousands of items, it is neat and orderly, making shopping for a treasure easy and time efficient. Organizing such an abundant and varied array of merchandise could be daunting to most people, but O’Ferrell is very meticulous and “keeps all her ducks in a row.”
She said her mother always told her, “There’s a place for everything and it’s not on the floor.”
The shop is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Donations are accepted during those business hours. Purchases can be made by cash or debit cards, O’Ferrell said. For questions, call (304) 365-4333.