An old dream and antique furniture

A longtime dream has come true at the Old Town Mall on Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor.

Paula Williams just last week opened her own antique shop called Avi Bella, thereby fulfilling a dream that goes back years.

Don’t bother referring to your French phrase book to discern the meaning of the store’s exotic-sounding name. “That’s actually our two dogs,” said Megan Wood, who manages the store for her mother. “Everyone thinks it’s French.” Avi is a Dachshund and Bella is a black Lab.

The store is located below Chocolates for Breakfast in the mall and is packed full of interesting items.

“I have been collecting since a young age,” Williams said. “Garage sales, estate sales, classifieds, I’m always searching for a treasure.”

She describes her new shop as a family affair. She works full-time at the Navy base while her daughter manages the store while attending Skagit Valley College. “It’s a combined effort by the whole family,” Williams said.

Megan Wood graduated from Oak Harbor High School last fall. She said she’s been on innumerable antique hunts with her mother and she shares her enthusiasm for the enterprise. “We’ve found some pretty neat stuff,” she said. She’s interested in a career in interior design.

Paula Williams first ventured into the world of retail by acquiring booth space at the Red Rooster Antique Mall in Freeland where she said sales have been quite good. “This lead me to take a chance opening the shop here in Oak Harbor,” she said.

Avi Bella offers quality antique furniture but with a mix of other items sure to appeal to any shopper. Offerings include votive candles, Windrift Hill body produces made in Montana from natural goat’s milk, a selection of dog prints of many different breeds that are sure to be loved by dog owners, jewelry by David Aubry will by in stock soon, and earthenware from England will be arriving in time for the holidays. Another favorite is “My Mother’s Buttons,” jewelry handcrafted from buttons from the 1800s.

“It’s a mixture of all that I love and enjoy,” Williams said.

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