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.”