The newly expanded Uniquities is open for business this weekend in Old Town, but even with the extra space, owner Robyn Wells doesn’t have enough room for all the merchandise she’s collected at various markets nationally.
In addition to the 3,700 square feet the store now has, there are more items in storage in a basement and a building down the street from the shop at 141 N. Rock Island.
“We have as much merchandise in other areas as we have in the store right now,” Wells says.
She opened the store in 2015, but Wells still has a hard time describing what she sells.
“I say home decor store, but it’s so much more than that,” she says. “I’ll say antique store, and that seems to sell it short also. I say we repurpose. That seems like I’m … Betty crafter in my basement doing crafts.”
Uniquities generally is open only one weekend a month or by appointment.
While it’s not a huge store, Wells says, “I couldn’t have dreamed this big.”
She says she thought it would be fun – a chance to shop and share what she found.
“I really thought it would be a hobby.”
The store is work – for instance, Wells had a 20-hour day on Wednesday getting ready for this weekend’s sale – but she says it’s incredibly fun with her friends who work at the store.
“I wouldn’t even want to do it without them. We have so much fun, it shouldn’t be called work.”