From floor to ceiling, AMO Craft Barn has it all
28 Mar 2022
At AMO Craft Barn, located in Joice, the world is its oyster.
Annette O’Donnell opened her shop nearly three years ago, and the walls are lined from floor to ceiling with “one of a kind arts, crafts, upcycle, collectibles and antiques.”
“I’ve got more stuff than I even remember having,” said O’Donnell.
The art and crochet clothing is made by the hands of O’Donnell. Some of her most unique items are painted animal bones and washing machine lids, as well as crochet boho capes.
O’Donnell has items saved from the 1800s, including medicine bottles, books and cast iron cookware. She has also collected memorabilia from local communities.
Always having an impulse to collect vintage items, O’Donnell opened an antique store in 1986 that she ran for a couple of years. She gave up the store when she decided to attend the University of Iowa to earn her bachelor’s degree in art and a minor in Latin.
For years, O’Donnell was a frequent craft show vendor, but she eventually limited the number of shows she attended due to health complications.
To substitute, O’Donnell opened up shop on her property to continue following her passions.
“Like a full-time job, I can’t stop making stuff,” O’Donnell said. “If I’m watching TV, I’m making something.”
O’Donnell also takes custom art requests. She recalled times customers have come in with glass windows asking her to stencil and paint on them for decoration.
O’Donnell named her business after her initials, AMO, which also stands for “I love” in Latin. Put together, the business title would read “I Love Craft Barn.”
For O’Donnell, the most rewarding part of her business is when people compliment her unique work, noting it as something they have never seen before.
“Most of them (antique stores) are trendy; I’m odd,” said O’Donnell. “I have stuff that’s out of the ordinary.”