Sandy Erdman: Antique shop has new/old home
I don’t know about you, but fall is my favorite time of the year to go antiquing in out-of-the-way places, like down old country roads. I love to go to those out-of-the-way places to look for good deals and bargains, too.
One place that I would like to share with you is Mystic Moon Antiques & Collectibles, owned by Al and Peg Chihak, in a new location, 1224 10th St. NW, Stewartville. It’s in an old farmhouse where they once started.
“I have always had a liking for antiques at an early age,” Al said. “After Peg and I met in 1996, we started to go to auctions and sales, which started our venture. After a while we had so much collected we thought about selling some. In 2007, we used the old farmhouse on our property to sell out of. It was very hard to get folks to venture off Highway 63 one mile to find us.”
But now they have returned to their original place, the farmhouse.
“Other than the obvious, that the overhead is lower, having our shop on our property has many blessings,” Al said. “We have time to do things between customers and have room to grow. To have more control on what we can do to the outside. We plan to dress up the front and side of the shop with barn boards and old rusty tin. Will be a fun project for next spring. Because the old farmhouse does not have any way to heat it for now, we will be closing for the winter. We will communicate this on our Facebook page.”
In 2008, Mystic Moon moved from the farmhouse to a rented space in downtown Stewartville.
“We quickly outgrew the 1,000-square-foot space and moved out next to the Pizza Ranch to a 3,500-square-foot space. This was an ideal location and allowed us to have other dealers join us,” he said. “Last November our lease was up and the owners said they were going to list the building for sale. Not wanting to be in the middle of a sale, we decided to move back to the old farmhouse. With a loyal customer following and moving only a mile away, we made the move. Only downfall is the farmhouse is only 800 square feet, so we don’t have space for other dealers for now. Outside we do have garden items and whirly gig stuff from friends of ours.”
What’s for sale
“Most of our finds are at auctions and we buy outright from many nice folks,” Al said. “We do own a service, Declutter My Space, where we help folks that are downsizing to a smaller home or cleaning out their home to get ready to put up for sale. Peg and our daughter Mandy make homemade soap that we also sell in the shop. We are always looking for items such as advertising pieces, signs, cast-iron, primitives and toys. Peg is partial to old cameras and costume jewelry and I like stoneware, lightning rod balls, weather vanes and insulators.”
So what are the long-term goals for the business? Al said it’s “to take a portion of our shed and remodel it for larger items like furniture and for the rest of our display cases and shelf units that can’t fit in the shop. Then we have a barn that someday we would like to remodel for more space. Large dreams and big goals, but that is what life is all about.
“We love getting to know our customers and make sure we help them out anyway we can. If we don’t have what they are looking for, then we send them to other shops in town. We like to give discounts to folks so they feel good and will want to return next time they are in the area. Many who stop by are patients from Mayo Clinic looking for something to do. We get compliments all the time about how clean, organized and spacious our shop is.”
Mystic Moon is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The store soon will be adding Wednesday hours. And it is open by appointment: Call 507-533-6484.