Nine vendors have come together to open a new Tower District store selling an eclectic mix of vintage treasures: midcentury modern sofas, furniture made from old barn doors and, oddly, heads from baby dolls without the bodies.
The new store opened July 1 and will soon expand and take over the Kirby vacuum business next door. Vonrad Vintage Antiques owners Lisa and Eric Radecki used to run The Vonrad Trading Post in Oakhurst before selling it and another store of the same name in Lincoln in Northern California.
The word Vonrad is an old Polish name the family discovered while tracing their roots.
With multiple vendors – sort of like an antique mall, but not everything is antique – the store has a healthy mix of merchandise. It has both antiques (over 100 years old) and vintage (over 50 years old), according to Lisa Radecki.
The midcentury modern furniture, decor and dishes are the first thing customers see when they walk in the door. This style of home decor is seeing a huge resurgence. The time frame it references is debatable (basically the 1950s and a decade or two on either side), but it features lots of wood, clean lines and simple silhouettes.
George Huddleston, who owns The Junke Deluxe store down the street at 140 E. Olive Ave., also sells at Vonrad Vintage. He has a room selling salvage and man cave-style items such as old mantels and church window frames.
“The antiques business has changed,” he says. “Everybody wants wood and metal and rust and peeling paint. They want patina.”
The Radeckis run a rockabilly section with leather jackets and high school letter sweaters.
The strangest and perhaps most fun section of the store has a display of doll heads and the occasional arm or leg of a doll.
“Everybody is making lamps out of the heads,” Lisa Radecki says.
A gun from around 1890 is for sale (it doesn’t work, you need a different kind of paperwork for that) along with old medical equipment like a mask once used to put a patient to sleep with ether for surgery. Lisa Radecki has a nursing license and Eric Radecki is a veteran, so between the two of them they can identify some of the more unusual older items.
A pair of 20-somethings sell their art, jewelry and colorful purses under the name Mermaid Treasures.
And of course, there are the more traditional vintage items: hats, bottles, birdcages and hat boxes.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Details: 559-493-5390 or on Instagram at @vonrad_vintage.