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Retailer spotlight: Antiquified

Exterior of Antiquified

Gingerbread House. Fairy Tale House. Dutch Potato Chip House. Christmas House. Doll House. Antiquified Antiques & Collectibles is a store known by many names in Northeast Minneapolis. The roadside attraction, childhood home of former Minneapolis Mayor Al Hofstede whose father turned it into a gingerbread house, has captivated passersby for decades. The interior of the house is just as appealing, with three levels of antiques to peruse.

“The fact that it is a house makes it more intriguing because the kitchen is displayed as a kitchen, and a lot of the displays give people inspiration and ideas for what they can do in their own home,” says owner Julie Gubbin, who bought the house in 2014. “My porch looks like a porch -- it’s full of things that you might want to put on your porch.”

Customers who visit Antiquified are soon enthralled. “What I hear people say the most when they come here, they always tell me how beautiful it is, it’s so well-displayed, nicest place they’ve ever been to,” says Gubbin. “But mainly, they find the displays really fun.”

Parrot with margarita glasses

Store specialties include rare Americana, framed prints, kitchenware and linens, retro records, vintage children’s books and an outdoor garden space filled with garden art and decor. Many of the rooms have themes: the French room, man cave, spring farmyard, tropical, bridal, nautical. The themes change regularly, so there’s always new inventory to discover. “It’s not very big in some ways, but we utilize every nook and cranny, even the medicine cabinet,” says Gubbin. “Every little spot I can shove something in and display it, I’ll do it.”

Her acquisition of the house came about after she needed to relocate her business. A friend urged her to stay in Northeast, and to consider Lowry Avenue specifically, because of the belief that it was an up-and-coming thoroughfare. The only place Gubbin wanted was the little gingerbread house, she says. “It was such a curious, odd little place, pretty much hidden back then.” But someone was living in it. Nevertheless, in the dead of January, she knocked on the door and asked if they would consider selling their house to her. Gubbin’s timing was perfect as they had just recently decided it was time for them to sell. “It was this or nothing,” she says. “I’m glad that it worked out because it’s such a special place with a special history. It was wonderful getting inside it finally, basing it solely on what was on the outside. Even the bank didn’t want to lend me the money. They said, ‘you’re never going to be able to fix this up, it’s too much work.’ Within three months, I turned it around.”

“Every day at least two neighbors would come by who I hadn’t met before, and they were so happy to see their little gingerbread house coming back,” Gubbin says. “It has such notoriety.”

Furniture with ceramics on it

A lot of Antiquified’s furniture is refurbished or repurposed, using, for example, chalk paint to spruce it up. The whole theme of the store is reuse, Gubbin says. One of her favorite things is when customers buy things to be used in ways that stray from their original purposes. “My customers always show me photographs of how they’re going to use it, make something else with it. That’s been a rewarding thing about this business, too, to learn and see how creative people can be. I’m creative at finding and displaying, and they’re good at creating things they found displayed here.”

The movement to waste less and live better encourages residents to buy used goods, repair their items, refuse unnecessary “extras,” and rent or borrow used gear rather than buying new – not only to reduce waste and preserve natural resources, but to save money. By pledging to waste less and live better, residents receive valuable waste reduction tips and regular email alerts about upcoming sales and events. Learn more and subscribe today.