When we first caught up with findfurnish, the team of four was out on the road shopping. It was no surprise to us that the Minneapolis-based crew spends much of their time digging through barns and antique stores across the midwest for their fabulous finds. From Knoll loveseats to Danish dining chairs, this local shop located in the Casket Arts Factory is supplying Mill City with plenty of style. Read on to find out where Marie Zellar and her band of merrymen go to discover treasure around town and more.
Hi Marie! Tell us a bit about yourself.
We run a vintage furniture business, findfurnish. My name is Marie Zellar and I am a co-owner with two of my best friends, Brian Wilcox and Tim Schumann. The findfurnish team is rounded out by Erik Wivinus. Erik came in to our shop about a year ago and purchased a fabulous vintage sofa from us. After Brian delivered it to his fantastically designed loft space he told me ‘We should hire this guy. He gets it.’
We travel around the Midwest hunting for mid century modern, Danish modern and vintage industrial furniture lighting and decor. We restore pieces needing a little love and we then sell our finds online via Krrb and Etsy and in our shop in Northeast Minneapolis.
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I was raised in Indiana and Texas. Brian and Erik are from Minnesota. Tim is from South Dakota. We all live in Minneapolis now.
What is the most awesome thing in or about your neighborhood?
The arts community is so vibrant in Northeast Minneapolis. Every block has something creative and special to offer. It is the perfect neighborhood for our shop. People who love art see the artistry in well-designed and well-made vintage furnishings.
Tell us your favorite place you go locally to discover hidden treasures.
We love to get out of the city to hunt for treasures. I go up north to Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Hackensack, Brainerd and thereabouts whenever I can. In the summertime there are flea markets everywhere. Brian and Tim love Iowa and do a big week long vintage hunting trip down there once a month. Locally – we dig a good estate sale in one of the many great mid century neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. After checking for bargains on furniture we always head to the basement or the garage. There is always something interesting in the basement or the garage.
What blogs or websites do you visit regularly?
Apartment Therapy, Twin Cities Design Scene, Deconet, MocoLoco, Design Sponge, PadStyle, – there’s really too many to list! And I love trolling through Etsy vintage shops to see what others are finding all over the world.
As a kid, were any of your toys and clothes hand-me-downs? Stories please!
I am the youngest of 6 children – so yes! My Mom never threw anything away. Growing up in the 70s, a lot of my hand-me-downs were great mid century fashions, art and furniture. That was the “old” stuff no one wanted. Now it is what everyone wants.
Today, how often do you go to garage sales, flea markets, etc.? What is your modus operandi? Any personal tips you’d like to share?
We are out every week looking for new finds for the store. My mother was also a world class thrifter so I learned at a young age how to troll estate sales, thrift stores and auctions for treasure. We hunt for pieces from the 50s and 60s, so focusing on towns and neighborhoods with a lot of great mid century architecture (churches, schools, homes) is a good way to increase your odds of getting a great score. We also have developed many wonderful friendships with fellow finders around the region that are far away from major markets and we help them get their finds in front of potential customers.
Have you ever taken home an object you found in the street or dumpster? If so, what was it? And where is it now?
We found an awesome painting of a buffalo in the trash after a neighborhood wide garage sale. It was just so odd and artful. He served as our mascot in the store for a long time. He was in tons of our photos. My cousin fell in love with the painting when he stopped by the shop once and so we gave it to him.
Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?
We practice “catch and release.” The thrill is in finding beautiful things and seeing the look on a customer’s face when we deliver them something they truly love.
What is your most cherished thrifted, secondhand, vintage, upcycled object you possess? What’s the story behind it?
Our shop counter is pretty special. It is a huge cherry wood glass with a marble base, just beautiful. Brian saw it on the top shelf of a pallet rack at an hardware surplus and salvage store. It turns out it was the tobacco counter at the Amble’s General Store in the first half of the 20th century. That store was just a few blocks away from where our shop is now, so it was like bringing it home.
Do you create/make things? What are you working on these days?
We like finding vintage hairpin legs and putting them on just about anything. We get excited when we find old wooden planks, machine shop bench tops and the like. The marriage of those vintage mod legs with a well-worn piece of wood is kind of dreamy.
By the way, what’s your day job?
Don’t hate us, but this is our job and we love it. We find beautiful vintage things, restore them and then get to make people very happy when they get to take them home.
The Short List
1720 Madison St NE Suite 12 in Minneapolis