Little Store Packs Big Punch

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From outside the shop, When Cowboys Dream looks small, but interesting. Step inside and your senses will get a thrilling punch -- there is something spectacular to see everywhere you look.

The shop reflects a love affair Constance Artinger has had with fine Western and lodge-style furniture for many years.

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Constance Artinger offers visitors to her shop, When Cowboys Dream, a wonderful selection of lodge and cowboy-style furnishings and home decor pieces. The furniture is handmade by area artists and many of the pieces are of gallery quality.

"It's a style of furniture I enjoy," she said. "I bought my first piece for my bedroom years ago. I was groomed to have this shop."

There is no special story behind the shop's unusual name. It is the result of intense brainstorming, Artinger said.

Most of the work in the shop is handmade by area artists.

"I've known most of the artists for 10 years," Artinger said. She and her former partner owned and operated the Timberidge store in Payson for about six years.

They parted ways, their store closed, but Artinger could not stay away from sharing the unique beauty of the furniture that captivated her, so she opened When Cowboys Dream on May 1, 2004.

The furniture carried in the shop includes bedsteads, dining and occasional tables, chairs, bars, barstools, lamps and more. The shop also has fine art prints, primarily with a Western theme; handmade jewelry; leather vests, purses, gloves, belts and other personal accessories; and an extensive collection of home decor pieces. The decor items are one-of-a-kind designs from throughout the Southwest.

Artinger is especially proud of the cowhides she sells. She handpicks each one from some of the finest quality hides offered.

She said 14 different furniture artists are featured in the store, along with two to three dozen others who make the accessory and decor pieces.

Artinger is a former speech and language therapist. She lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay area before making the move to Payson.

"I wanted to live here. I like Payson and the people a lot. I really appreciate my customers and the artists I work with," Artinger said.

The variety in the store is by design.

"It keeps me excited," Artinger said. "I like to have fun."

When Cowboys Dream is located at 907 S. Beeline Highway in Payson. The shop is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call (928) 978-9922.

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