Jeff and Cynthia Harbison own numerous buildings in downtown Clayton and have plans to breathe new life into the town, but they also want to preserve the town's history as much as they can.

So, why not start with a building that served as a chicken processing plant at the turn of the century to house their new Copper Top Customs business.

The BuildingCopper Top Customs historic elevator

The building has gone through a couple iterations throughout its history. In addition to the chicken processing plant, it previously served as a tire shop.

So, you can imagine the condition it was in when the Harbisons purchased it, and the work it took to turn it into the antiques, vintage, custom arts market that opened in September.

But it was important to them as they cleaned it up to try to bring it back to its original condition and preserve and repurpose as much of the building and its contents as possible.

They preserved old beadboard they found an created a primitive area within the new store. They also saved an elevator that was used to move items from the first floor to the second floor.

Whenever they found pieces of the building that needed replaced, they salvaged what they could, even if it was a portion of a board only a couple inches long, to reuse somewhere else within the building.

They spent a pain-staking year completely renovating the 13,000 square feet of the building they opened for the store. They do have a couple more expansions in the back and on the second floor in mind that they eventually hope to add.

What is it?Copper Top Customs primitive area

The store sells home decor items, handmade signs, repurposed upscale furniture, local folk crafts, primitives, jewelry, clothing, antiques, local artwork and so much more.

More than 30 vendors including the Harbisons and some of their family members and other artisans from Hendricks County and Indianapolis have areas within the store. But the best part is you don't really even realize the store sells items from different vendors or booths. They've done such a great job of putting the store together that it all seems cohesive.

Cynthia said she wanted the ambience within the store to be different so that it felt more like a shopping experience and not like a flea market.

And she really hit the mark.

In just the first few months, they've already had customers come from all over the region and even neighboring states. The inventory will also change regularly, making each trip a new experience to find hidden gems and unique gifts.

Why Copper Top?Copper Top Customs copper ceiling

Because Jeff works in metals, the couple had both become fond of copper. So, as they were renovating the building, Jeff found some copper-colored pole barn metal they felt would be perfect to go on the ceiling and tie the entire building together.

It seemed to be a natural fit for the historic building, so they began bringing in light fixtures and other finishing touches in the same copper color and Copper Top Customs was born.

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Why Clayton?Copper Top Customs

The Harbisons wanted a place in Hendricks County to call home with plenty of land out in the country and a place for Jeff's machinery business. They eventually found a building for his machine shop in Clayton and soon fell in love with the town.

Now that they have opened their business and some other parts of town are starting to reopen like the Clayton Cafe, Cynthia said she loves that the residents are coming together and getting excited about what's happening in downtown.

She's even had children come in and tell her Copper Top is their new favorite store, which is amazing considering Copper Top doesn't sell toys.

It's time for you to see what all the excitement's about, especially as you shop for the holiday season.

Copper Top Customs

Address: 4885 Iowa St., Clayton, Ind.
Open: 5 days a week, Wednesdays-Sundays