Take 10

Deb Opyd

A lover of vintage oddities and all things curious, Deb Opyd—aka “Miss Junk”—has a knack for finding the unusual and interesting. Before opening her “funky, hip shop,” Relics, in 2008, the Wisconsin native spent a few years as a proud, single mom and two decades as a fashion/decor stylist in commercial photography, working for companies like Kohl’s, Land’s End and American Girl Doll. While enjoying a crazy, whirlwind backpacking trip through Iceland and France in the early 2000s, Opyd bumped into “the nicest man” in a Parisian laundromat, quickly fell in love, and went on to marry her now best friend, Ben Faramarzi. When he accepted a job with Caterpillar, the couple moved to Peoria, where Opyd established roots in her new community selling a diverse range of eclectic treasures. Today, her store near the corner of Glen and University stocks a colorful assortment of local accessories, décor and gifts, as well as a continuously changing collection of unique antiques.

  1. Favorite treat:  Mexican ice cream from the new Mexican ice cream place [Las Delicias Helados y Paletas] on Main Street.
  2. Proudest moment:  Saying goodbye to my daughter as she left for the Peace Corps last summer. She is serving as a teacher and building libraries in South Africa.
  3. Most humbling moment:  Visiting a customer’s home and seeing them display the things they find at my shop.
  4. What’s your idea of perfect happiness?  A full tank of gas, a map and my husband in the car.
  5. What is your most treasured possession?  An 1870s male mannequin made of wire with cast- iron shoes. It came from an old men’s clothier in Quincy, Illinois.
  6. What is your favorite occupation?  Treasure hunter, 1700s Far East spice trader.
  7. Who are your heroes in real life?  Independent, grass-roots business owners who work hard every day and take a lot of pride in their community.
  8. What is your motto?  Bloom where you are planted.
  9. What’s the best thing about being you?  I’m spontaneous. If you call me at midnight to do something, I’m okay with that.
  10. If you could spend one hour doing absolutely anything, what would you do?  Hunt through a junk store. a&s