Special finds in Shabby ShedMarion Cronin stopped by the Shabby Shed to see what treasures it might hold. A week later, the Superior woman was back with items of her own to sell.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Marion Cronin stopped by the Shabby Shed to see what treasures it might hold. A week later, the Superior woman was back with items of her own to sell.
“Isn’t it a unique place?” she asked as she unloaded a painted privacy screen, aluminum watering can shaped like a birdhouse and upholstered chair. “I would love to do something like this. I wish I would have thought of it.”
The South Range consignment store specializes in upscale resale, and owner Lorraine Peterson invites everyone to join in the fun by browsing or bringing in pieces of their own to sell.
“As long as it’s cool, unique, fun we want it,” she said. The store is filled with a mix of unique, chic, antique, sassy, repurposed and collectible items.
Interesting pieces spark memories and conversations, Peterson said, “And that makes the experience here much more fun.”
Visitors and consignors agree.
“The best part about visiting the Shabby Shed is there are wonderful heartfelt memories around every corner and treasures everywhere,” said Jodi Rochon, who adds Peruvian silver jewelry to the store’s mix. “You catch yourself saying stuff like, ‘My grandma had a cookie jar just like that or one of these look just like the lamps we had in the basement when I was a kid.’”
The real treasure, Rochon said, is “finding that special piece that you know brought a lot of joy to someone for many years and now is coming home with you to start a new chapter of memories.”
Two and a half years ago, Peterson made the decision to leave the stress of her high-level corporate job behind. At the time, she was working 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I was pounding my head against the wall every day,” Peterson said, trying to raise donations for her employer as the economy wavered. “No amount of hours that I put in was going to make up for that money shortfall.”
Taking her youngest daughter’s suggestion to do what she loved, Peterson turned her hobbies — collecting antiques, picking through estate and rummage sales and refinishing furniture — into a business.
Since the Shabby Shed opened Memorial Day weekend, Peterson’s stress has melted away.
“I wanted to do something that was going to be fun and not have any stress,” she said. “And this has been fun. People that come here are fun. People that come and visit with us just have a great time.”
The shed — situated in a garage at Peterson’s home — has an eclectic mix of wares. Shoppers can find furniture, glassware, ornaments, knick-knacks, home décor, crocks, jewelry, screens and much more. Every week there are new items. Peterson and her friend Shari Herubin scour rummage and estate sales and pick through junk piles to procure new pieces.
“I guess laughing has been really good for us too, because of the things that we do for the junk that we pick,” Peterson said. They’ve even been asked if they were the picker sisters. The two have rescued trailers full of furniture headed toward a burn pile and found cool pieces in stacks of junk.
“We repurpose it; give it a new life,” Peterson said.
Volunteering at the Shabby Shed gives Herubin, who has no more room for thrift sale finds at her home, a chance to keep rummaging.
“I’m her volunteer shopper,” Herubin said.
Consignors like Cronin also add to the store’s stock. They choose their own prices, and Peterson takes a 20 percent cut when they sell.
“I want people to have fun and enjoy it,” she said. “I don’t want to gouge them for price; I want to keep our prices low so people keep coming back to us.” And she wants consignors to make money at it, too.
As Cronin deposited her pieces and debated what price to put on them, her daughter Melissa Isabella picked up a $10 area rug for her elementary school classroom as well as a piece of Rochon’s jewelry. Before they drove away, Cronin’s screen had already sold.
“I’m going to bring more stuff,” the Superior woman said.
Currently, the Shabby Shed is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays at 7107 State Highway 13. Peterson plans to stay open until October, with two special store openings for the weekend of the Bayfield Apple Fest and the start of the deer gun season. Next week, Sept. 1-2, the store holds a grand opening in its new space, an actual shed at the same address.
The business is looking for a low-rent space for the winter. If none can be found, the Shabby Shed will tuck away its treasures until next spring.
In addition to the store, Peterson is also available to run estate sales and has taken courses in home staging redesign.
For more information about the Shabby Shed, find it on Facebook under “Shabby Shed,” call (218) 390-6901 or drop by during store hours. The business is about five minutes away from the Holiday station in Itasca. Directions are available on Facebook.