Road trips + Secret spots

It's Tuesday and it's cloudy and slow in the store today, but that's ok. Why you ask? Well, I woke up early, was able to snag a shower before the kids woke up, took a super cute photo of some new goodies when I got to the store, and a customer called to say how much she loved our No. 2 Sebastopol candle, and the store in general.

Self administered pat-on-the-back? I think so.

Also, I'm making batch after batch of our No.18 Hello Darling candles for the upcoming holiday (it's Valentines Day in case you forgot. You can consider this your reminder. Also, you're welcome. Need a gift? Click here) and it smells like Red Hots + Salted Butter + Vanilla beans all got together and had a dance party up in here.


But these things are not why I'm here today! Oh no! Today I want to tell you all about our family road trip to my favorite place near Hannibal MO. It is an architectural salvage and antiques warehouse in the middle of nowhere, and no, I'm not telling the name because I'm selfish and I can't give up my secret. Some of you already know because you figured it out. Little stinkers. Shhhhhhh. Anyways, it's rural location makes it even better. Everything in this place is right up my antique loving alley and I have been chomping at the bit to make a trip there for months.

So, over the last several weeks or so I noticed from my late night Instagram scrolling (and mid day and early morning and early afternoon...anytime I'm eating really, which is like, all the time) that it seemed like everyone else who owns a home decor shop in the country was visiting the big fancy markets in Dallas, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. I had really wanted to go too to see all the latest and greatest, but sadly, no childcare was available for any of the dates we wanted to go, and trust me, these markets are no place for small children..... not because of the crowds or other people...but because of me. I would have lost my stuff after hearing "how much longer are we going to be here?" or "my legs are tired!" or "Can we go swimming when we get back?" or "I have to poop!" or " I pooped" ( we are potty training, just to clarify) 176,000 times within the first half of the first day of being there, so, we opted to not go.

I love my children everybody. Just putting that out there and making that clear.

Not being able to go to any of the big markets this season, however, left me feeling like I really needed to make it somewhere, ANYWHERE, to score some new items for my store. And that's when I realized that now was the perfect time to make it to my favorite finding place. Still not telling.

Pack your bags kids. We driving 11 hours round trip to a field in Illinois, and no the DVD player still doesn't work in the truck ever since you shoved a quarter in there. Your dad and I never got it fixed because we like to teach lessons about respect for our things and also we're cheap. Book on tape, here. we. come.

So, we packed, and at 5:00am Saturday we hit the road. It was a surprisingly short trip in my opinion, but perhaps that's because I was so excited. I sat in the passenger seat the whole way there with a goofy smile and stars in my eyes as I stared out the window. We stopped off at our Holiday Inn Express in Hannibal MO to meet up with my employee, AnnMarie and her family who also tagged along for the trip, freshened up, had lunch, then back in the cars for another 15 minute jaunt to the spot.

Side note: The Holiday Inn Express in Hannibal has 5 stars on Trip Advisor for good reason. Cleanest, nicest, hotel ever, and I'm a hotel snob. Seriously, well done HIE, well done.

Once we got close to the secret steel building, I ditched my travel companions by throwing myself from the moving vehicle, and skipped-slash-ran to the building like there was a BOGO sale on Cholula and Cabernet.

Just kidding. I allowed the vehicle to park and calmly walked in with everyone else like a sane woman....but it was hard.

We got inside and it was everything I hoped it would be. Now, again, I have purchased from this place many times before for both inventory for the store, and also for display items and other goodies for myself. I already knew I loved the items they hunt for and supply, but I was just so happy to be able to pick and shop and wander and drool in person.

I had items already on hold and others I knew I was going to leave with before we had even left home that morning, but it was so great to wander through the large building beforehand to see all the wonderfully old and amazing goods.

Antique cabinets, old desks, wobbly chairs, and windows galore. Ladders, bicycles, spindles, jars, trinkets, old doors, metal hardware, old maps, pulleys, wood planks, and so much more. Once we had taken it all in, all while listening to the classical music playing overhead in the large building and sipping hot chocolate offered up by the owner, I got to what I came for.

Queue the heart eyes and wagging tongue.

My European bread boards of all shapes and sizes, antique sieves with delicate wooden frames, a handful of old wooden hay forks, and some lovely French galvanized watering cans with the best patinas. I picked and choosed and aahhed and ooohhed for a good hour and finally had the perfect selection of items to take back with me. We haggled a little, (although it was the nicest, most polite haggling ever. A hug is more aggressive than this haggling was) and I left feeling good about what I paid and even more so about what I had in my possession.

If you know me at all, whether it be personally, or through my many personalities portrayed on social media, you know two things about me.

1. Hot sauce is my favorite food.

2. I love old wooden items. Mainly wooden boards and wood bowls.

Swoon. Drool. Love. Gimme all the old wooden goodies.

I paid the man, shook a hand, and said goodbye to my favorite place. We headed back to the Ritz Carlton of Holiday Inns for a quick nap, then back into downtown Hannibal for an Italian dinner with AnnMarie and the husbands and kids, then to bed. We hit the road early the next morning, and it was another 6 hours of asking how much longer it would take to get home, tears from boredom, and hunger induced fits. This was all me. The kids did great.

Over the next couple days I will finish getting all these lovely items cleaned up, photographed, tagged, and on the website and/or displayed in the store in time for the Sweetheart Walk this Saturday in downtown Ashland, so make sure to come on down!

Either that or the whole lot will be stashed in my kitchen at home...

Finders keepers.



PS. If you find it wrong or rude of me to not share the location of this gem of a place, allow me to explain. This is a small business, and my funds and list of contacts for such great antiques are tiny. I'm choosing not to share outright as I have a fear/understanding that, most likely in the near future, they will become so well known that the items that I love to get from them, that define the style and love I have for my store, will become purchased/picked by others more frequently, and my access to these items will become harder to secure. If you already know where this place is, excellent, but please let's not shout it from the rooftops quite yet. I'd love to hold onto it for a just a little while longer :)

And if you really must know, I already gave you a hint about the location. Start Googling.