“Instead of hauling all my stuff up north, I decided to just trying it on my own,” she said, as she decoupaged a table with cutouts of countries from an old encyclopedia.
Willette opened her store in July of last year, but she just recently moved her business one door over to be closer to the other antique stores in the little strip mall.
“I figured it’s just convenient to have them all in a row,” she said.
But there’s other advantages to her new location too, like the added square footage and the separate rooms near the back, which she rents out to consignors.
“I have about 20 consignors right now,” said Willette, adding that she only does business with people who make hand-made items—and bonus points if they are repurposed.
“What’s important to me is to keep the stuff out of the landfill,” she said, adding that she goes “crazy” when she drives around and sees people throwing away perfectly good items, like furniture.
“Excuse me,” she tells her husband when they pass furniture on the side of the road. “Are we married?” she jokes with him, “because you did not just pass those chairs!”
And “dumpster diving” isn’t new for her. In fact, she says she finds a lot of hidden treasures that, many times, don’t need much work.
“Do you know how many easels I got last year for kids?” she asked. “Like ten,” she said, adding that many of them were still in great condition.
She also snagged a chair, which she said just needed a little TLC, a steam clean, and it was good to go.
But more than just buffing out scratches, Willette really likes to feature pieces that are made from reclaimed wood and other parts, like the wood crate box one consigner made and decorated with old rivets from an old couch.
“She stood at the landfill and pulled each one of those off,” said Willette. “That’s why I like her.” Then she has another consigner who makes art out of the leftover wood pieces from the projects he does.
“He doesn’t let anything go to waste,” said Willette.
No matter where you look in her…