Tag Archives: Second Chance Antiques

Shop Around the Corner

November 20, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In September, Jessica Misegadis swore that Shop Around the Corner would never relocate again. “I hated moving,” the co-owner of the secondhand shop said at the time. “I don’t want to ever do it again.” Business partner Geri Hogan tutted, “Never say never.” There’s a reason such sage advice doesn’t go out of style. This December, Misegadis and Hogan will set up shop for the third time as they move to the Kraft building on 16th and Leavenworth streets to get away from the expense of their previous Old Market location.

Patrons should be able to once again browse Shop Around the Corner’s magical shelves in time for the holidays, Misegadis says. In fact, you may find more than you bargained for: Shop Around the Corner will actually be inside a new, third storefront of The Imaginarium, owned by James Kavan. Thrift-loving explorers may run across vintage clothing, furniture, dishware, records, gilt picture frames, or even old-school arcade games.

Is there anything they don’t sell?

“I mean, we’re willing to look at anything,” says Misegadis. “There aren’t any certain items we don’t sell.” She and Hogan are the friendly faces you’ll see on any given day at the new Imaginarium, managing their Shop Around the Corner as well as the larger antiques mall surrounding their own vending.

The easy banter of the two rather stylish women is misleading—they haven’t even known each other a year. They met, in fact, while working at the original Imaginarium, an antiques shop on 13th and Howard. “We just started talking about clothes one day and saying, ‘We should open a vendor booth together,’” Misegadis recalls. “And the next thing you know we did.”

That’s apparently a side effect of mentioning an idea within earshot of Kavan. “Within a couple days, we were looking at a place with keys in our hand,” Hogan says. “I mean…we had keys!”

The original Shop Around the Corner opened in March of 2013. The 15th, to be exact. “Here, I have it written on a dollar bill, look,” Misegadis says, pulling out a framed George Washington. A lot has changed between then and now. For example, there is no more crying in the fitting room. “That first day, I cried because I was terrified,” she says. “Can we do this, what if we can’t do it?”

Just a few months later, the answer is, well, of course they can. Hogan is an experienced vintage clothing vendor, and Misegadis learned everything she knows about antiques from one of Omaha’s best-known sellers, Susan Hoffman Brink. Brink, who owned Second Chance Antiques, passed away last April. “I didn’t know anything about antiques before I met her,” Misegadis recalls. “She was a very fair person. If something was worth more than what someone was asking, she would tell them. She taught me how to check if jewelry was signed, she taught me how to check age on things…she was amazing.”

Speaking of jewelry, Hogan brags that Misegadis is the brains behind the jewelry selection of Shop Around the Corner. It’s true she has a certain flair for the shiny, decked out as she is in a Whiting & Davis mesh necklace and snake bracelet.

“Well, Geri is the one who finds the most unbelievable vintage clothing,” Misegadis counters. “I don’t even know how she finds things from the ’30s in this great condition…I mean, you just don’t see it.”

Hogan shrugs. “It just happens. I dig, like you do.”

The clothing offered by Shop Around the Corner is varied and not just vintage. Contemporary brands are sprinkled throughout, though gems such as plus-sized vintage, designer labels, and men’s and children’s fashion have their own special sections. “We’re trying to keep it organized,” Misegadis says. “We like to be able to send people to one area to find what they’re looking for.”

Of course, there are always those special little items that a shop owner might decide to put back for herself. “There was the Egyptian ring in the front case,” Misegadis says, “and I had got it from Susan. Someone was really wanting to buy it, but they put it back. So it’s at home now because I was like, I’m taking this.”

“You do get attached,” Hogan agrees. “You’re never going to see some of these things again.”

Let’s Go Antiquing

August 16, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Old Market has always been the place to find those unique items…things you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Nowhere is that more true than in the variety of antique shops in the area.

Whether you are looking for a specific item, enjoy antiquing, or just like to spend the afternoon reminiscing, each of these shops is a must-see and a great way to spend the day with friends.

While a bit off the beaten path, The Antique Annex, located at 1125 Jackson St., is a small shop that offers a lot. Owner Joe Dempsey opened the shop nearly two years ago but has many years of experience in dealing and selling antiques.

“We’re kind of in a weird location and don’t get as much traffic as a lot of other stores,” he says. This presents a great opportunity to find that treasure before someone else does. He explains the dealers he works with focus in on more decorative household items. “We deal a little bit in the more high-end stuff. You don’t have to search through a ton of [stuff] to find the nice things…they’re already here.”

Dempsey says that the hot items people are searching for now are furnishings and accessories from the 1950s: Lucite chairs and more industrial-type items. “We get a lot of kids finding things for their apartments.” Many are looking to give their downtown loft a unique, retro look. But he also sees everyone from moms to high-end collectors. “We see a little bit of everybody.”

Just across the street at 1116 Jackson St. is Second Chance Antiques, an Omaha staple that carries “pretty much everything from clothes to furniture,” says Elysia Jarvis, acting manager of the shop. “We get new stuff all the time. That’s the fun part. People will come in almost weekly because they know there will be something new to look for.”

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It was Jarvis’ mother, Susan Hoffman Brink, who opened Second Chance in 1971 and loved every minute of the 40-plus years she ran the shop. Brink passed away last April, but it was her dream for the business to continue. Her family and friends are dedicated to making her dream a reality. They are currently in the process of moving to a new location, just west of the Old Market on 14th and Harney streets. Quite the feat, as the two-level warehouse is packed full of fun finds: The basement is full of retro-style clothing and accessories. The main floor holds everything else you can imagine: dishes, décor, furniture, old photographs, and knick-knacks.

Some items have an obvious use, while others…well, the usefulness is in the eye of the buyer. “We find Pinterest has helped us a lot,” says Jarvis. “We can’t keep a door knob in-stock because people use them [to make] coat racks. People come here because they know they can’t get [these things] new. So it makes some really, fun unique things.”

“It’s better than Ikea!” exclaims one family friend who helps out at the store. This eclectic shop, as well as its eccentric team, makes Second Chance a fun place to get lost for the afternoon.

Another fun place to get lost antiquing is Fairmont Antiques & Mercantile. From the outside, it appears to be a retro-candy store, but venture a little further inside, and you soon discover that the shop not only appeals to your sweet tooth but to the sweet memories of your childhood and beyond.

“We specialize in an experience,” says General Manager Mark Kocsis. “When people come in, we like to give them a big ‘Wow!’” Owner Larry Richling opened the shop in the old Fairmont Dairy building at 1209 Jackson St. nearly three years ago, combining his retro-candy business and his antique business into a one-stop wonder-shop.

Along with the candy shop, the store offers many kinds of sodas, “Mostly retros and things you haven’t seen in years.” Deeper into the shop, customers will find treasures that will immediately transport them back to a simpler time.

This store offers more than antiques—it offers nostalgia: record albums, posters, toys, classic metal lunch boxes, clothing, furniture, even classic signage and historical hometown memorabilia. After you’re done shopping, take time to enjoy the authentic soda fountain or catch a classic film in the store’s private movie theater.

“If you just sit here and watch people come in…boom! They get this huge smile on their face,” says Kocsis. “That is so neat to see.” With items from over 25 dealers and new pieces coming in daily, visiting Fairmont will be a new experience each and every time you walk through the door.

Antique Annex
1125 Jackson St.
402-502-9603
omahavintage.com

Second Chance Antiques
1116 Jackson St.
402-346-4930
secondchanceantiquesomaha.com

Fairmont Antiques & Mercantile
1209 Jackson St.
402-346-9746
omahafairmont.com