"Curiouser and curiouser," she thought to herself while walking through the long hallway. From the telephone box filled with fishing equipment to the baby head teapot, she found a variety of impossible things as she ventured Down the Rabbit Hole.
Owned by Prague residents Shawnna Villines and her mother Olivia Reed since July 2016, Down the Rabbit Hole at Green's Corner is a unique antique store with a plethora of merchandise and customers.
"We have 5,000 square feet inside and we have 5,000 square feet outside and we sell from both areas," Villines said. "We sell to people that repurpose things, we sell to collectors, we sell to people who just (like antiquing)."
Before it was Down the Rabbit Hole, Villines said their establishment was originally known as Green's Corner for 25 years and owned by Jan and Ronnie Green.
"We wanted to keep that name because that's why it's famous but at the same time we wanted to put our own stamp on it," Villines said.
The business owner explained for 15 years she and her mother bought and sold old houses in Oklahoma City.
The family moved to Prague a few years ago and Villines said she was driving around Shawnee looking for vintage houses when she stumbled upon Green's Corner.
After seeing the "For Sale by Owner" sign in the window, Villines was curious to see what the inside was like. She said after walking around the store and seeing all the eclectic items they decided to buy it.
"It really did sort of call to us. It was kind of like 'this is where we're supposed to go next,"' Reed said.
Villines has two other sisters and Reed said the family is very artsy and creative, so owning the store was something they were happy to do.
Villines said every decade is represented in the store as there are hundreds of items from all different time periods and when coming up with the name, she wanted to reflect that diversity of the merchandise.
"We'd gone through every child book, everything written and then Lewis Carroll just popped into my head and I'm like 'it's like going Down the Rabbit Hole' and that's where we got (the name)," Villines said.
When they first took ownership, Villines said the store was piled high with boxes of antiques and other random items.
"It took us three years to sell enough product to start doing repairs...," Villines said.
The mother and daughter kept some merchandise already in the store and over the years have added their own items to the selection.
This year, Villines said, they've started making changes including repairing and repainting some of the floors and clearing space for people to rent out booths.
Now Down the Rabbit Hole has seven available booths for lease and Reed said about half of those have been filled.
"It's been great. We've got a lot of regulars and folks that come in. We joke with (them) because they've lived in Shawnee their whole life and never been here," Villines said.
Both mother and daughter said owning the antique store is learning something different everyday.
"The antique business is changing...You have to learn how to diversify and that's what we're doing. We're trying to keep the ambiance of the old building and business and still bring in new ideas," Reed said. "Some people don't like it and some people love it."
Reed, the mother of three, explained Down the Rabbit Hole sells cannabis oil and is trying other ways to reach new customers.
Many customers, such as residents Angie Young and Sara Bergeron, enjoy the old and new elements of Down the Rabbit Hole at Green's Corner.
"I think this (store) has more antique items. The real true old antiques. I haven't really seen anything else like that in town," Young said.
Bergeron said some stores may have a small amount of antique items but Down the Rabbit Hole is the only place with a consistent variety.
Villines said Down the Rabbit Hole's future is uncertain but in the meantime she and Reed will continue to develop, repair and make their antique store unique and interesting for Shawnee residents.
"We just kind of play it day by day. We're not firm on any decision. We kind of have to go with the flow of the economy like any small business and figure out the trends," Villines said.
Down the Rabbit Hole at Green's Corner is located at 723 E Main St. and for more information visit https://mohsvil.wixsite.com/website.