Born and raised in New Mexico, shop owner Fawn Dolan began her adult life as a middle school teacher in Los Lunas and the South Valley.
After many years of teaching remedial reading, she
decided to try something different.
What used to be the Casa Blanca Bar
and Azteca Ballroom on the corner of Camino del Pueblo and Avenida Bernalillo caught her
The bar was long gone but the ballroom still stood.
Asking around, she
discovered the place had a checkered history.
"Several shoppers have told me they feel a presence in here," says Dolan
"One woman even said she
saw a man and woman sitting on an old bed in the back."
Whether because of or in spite of such stories, Dolan
bought the property, renovated it, and opened Camino Real Antiques in 1996.
After thirteen years in business, she
says there has been a major drop in sales lately due to the poor economy.
"Our biggest loss is other dealers," she
"Dealers from Santa Fe and Albuquerque used to come here to buy merchandise for their shops, but a lot of them have stopped doing that because their businesses have slowed down.
A lot of stores have even gone under.
I'm fortunate because my husband of twenty-five years is very supportive physically, emotionally, and financially.
Otherwise, I would have been out of here a long time ago."
goes out and personally finds a lot of the merchandise she
Feeling the need to help other people, Fawn
opened the not-for-profit Nearly New Repeat Boutique
about ten years ago.
says the shop is doing really well because people realize they will find quality clothing at affordable prices.
"Most of our slacks and sweaters are $8, blouses are $14, and three-piece suits are $20 or $25 depending on the label.
We're also gearing up for our August sale.
If you're employed by any of the school districts like APS, Bernalillo, Placitas, or Rio Rancho, or any of the charter schools or day care schools, you can come in, show your ID and receive a free item worth $10.
It's our way of supporting our teachers by helping them to dress professionally and be good role models for the kids they work with."
Treasures are where you find them, and Fawn Dolan
is certainly one of the finest.