A treasure hunt awaits in Farmington

Shopping in some Farmington stores may resemble a thrift-store treasure hunt.

Loaded with recycled, re-purposed, and antique and/or “shabby chic” items, consignment stores and occasional shops are popping up in Farmington and gaining momentum, setting the city apart for its unique shopping options.

Farmington’s more established thrift and consignment stores include Lillian’s, Vintage Marketplace, The Market on Oak, and Shidor the Secondhand Store.

Razberry Beret, a thrift store where some of the proceeds go to help the homeless, just opened in the Farmington Mall on Highway 3 in July.

The store sells well-cared-for clothing, books, electronics and household items like lamps, pictures, furniture and cookware.

Once Again Consignment & Boutique opened Oct. 1, and Occasionally Yours, opens Oct. 18 at 308 Oak St. Owners Joyce Christensen and Shelly Gaetz plan regular sales the third weekend of each month.

Many of the shop owners compare Farmington’s growing marketplace atmosphere to Hastings or Stillwater, with a hometown feel of quaint shops and one-of-a-kind finds.

Nancy Cauley, owner of Vintage Marketplace at 302 Oak St., said her small-town background made her feel right at home setting up her store in Farmington.

“Everyone is so friendly,” she said.

Shelly Gaetz and Joyce Christensen are preparing to open their new store, Occasionally Yours, Oct. 18 in downtown Farmington. photo by Laura Adelmann

Her store is open the third and fourth weekend each month and features a variety of items from nine vendors, including vintage jewelry, home decor and shabby chic furniture at affordable prices.

“People know when they come in they’re going to see something different,” she said.

Nikki Freeburg, owner of Once Again Consignment & Boutique said she expects occasional and resale shopping to continue growing in popularity.

“I think its kind of the trend now, especially the way the economy is,” Freeburg said.

Her store, located in a converted farmhouse at 18566 Pilot Knob Road, includes displays of rhinestone-studded Tiger gear, custom-designed jewelry and antiques.

Lillians’ inventory includes trendy clothing, scarves, belts, purses, accessories and wallets.

Shidor the Secondhand Store is bursting with toys, clothes for any age, furniture, dishes and baby equipment.

The Market on Oak features baskets, gift sets, soaps and lotions and also features “Made in Minnesota” products.

Christensen of Occasionally Yours, described herself as a “picker,” and described searching for treasures to re-purpose in attics, barns and even chicken coops.

She has blogged about her adventures on Facebook, where she describes cleaning, sanding and painting her finds, turning them into original, affordable treasures.

Occasionally Yours will also feature items from 20 vendors, including hand-designed jewelry, scarves, candles and a variety of home decor.

Excited to open the store after a year of planning, she and business partner Shelly Gatez are sure they have picked the right place to kick off a new venture.

They were planning to rent a condo in Burnsville for their store, but changed their minds when they visited Farmington, met neighboring shop owners and realized the kind of atmosphere that is being created in the city.

“It just felt right,” Christensen said of Farmington’s historic downtown. “The condo was totally out there by ourselves. This is in a downtown area with a cute storefront that’s all ours. This was meant to be.”