Despite an overcast and rainy day, the balloons outside of ‘Ant’cetera Art & More attracted a flow of curious customers during the store's grand opening Friday, Oct. 8.
Owner Jean Farleigh said she has always been a collector of vintage things and loves to go searching for them. ‘Ant’cetera is now a place for her to sell some of the items she has picked up over the years.
“I just love hunting for vintage things, it's like a treasure hunt,” she said. “I had just retired from teaching last February, so it's like how can I make this be lucrative now?”
Farleigh said she has always dreamed of starting her own store, however she had been apprehensive about how to get one running.
“I had been putting it off like, ‘yeah I want to do that,’ but I wasn’t really sure how to start,” she said.
Farleigh’s store is located at 109 Ave. D, in the West End of Cloquet. The building is owned by her son and has room for future growth.
“The people that have come in today have shown a lot of interest and excitement,” she said. “They are glad to see something opening up on this end of town again.”
The name of the store came about from her son and daughter’s old tax business called “Ant Tax,” which got its name from a combination of the children's names Adrienne and Travis.
“When I decided to do this, (my daughter) wanted me to keep ant in the name,” she said.
Farleigh said she brainstormed names with Julia Jaakola, an artist working with the West End Flourish grants, who came up with “ant-tastic,” and something clicked. Not long after that, Farleigh came up with ‘Ant’cetera, a play on etcetera.
Along with creating the logo for the store, Jaakola said she had originally called Farleigh’s son about helping start a business in the area, with the help of grant money for artwork and signs.
“I asked him what he wanted to do (with the store). He said he knew someone who might want to do something with it,” Jaakola said as she pointed jokingly to Farleigh.
The store will have an ever changing inventory, depending on what Farleigh finds, as well as how things are selling.
“I still have a lot more to put in now anyway, it may look full but it is not full,” she said.
Despite recently opening, Farleigh said she has future plans to expand the store in the building and possibly have some art workshops.
“I have family that tell me I should do those kinds of art classes, but what I do I have basically learned myself,” she said. “But there are some things that I might be able to do at some point.”
Farleigh plans on selling some upcycled items she makes, a creative way to reuse what might be an unwanted item, and would use the back end of the store as a space to make them.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday. Farleigh said once she learns a bit more about running the store, the hours could change.