Fall 2019 marks the Grand Opening of Minnesota’s newest vintage and antique emporium: Wild Things Antiques Minneapolis. The shop now lives in the heart of the Lyn-Lake/Uptown neighborhood on Lyndale and 24th Ave and offers quirky, yet well-refined mid-mod vintage, antique furniture and housewares in a shop with charm, elegance and pizzazz. This is not your grandmas antiques shop, but she probably should make a visit, as should you.
If you would have told David Wenzel, a Cincinnati native and former Macy’s telecommunications professional, that in four years he would be married, in a different state and thriving as the owner of a vintage shop making big waves in a hip, trendy, bustling business district he might not have believed you. He may have even laughed at you. Add to the equation a Twin Cities native that in a former life was a branding and graphic design professional that changed careers via an accelerated nursing graduate program in Cincinnati, OH, a now Nurse Practitioner called Joshua Larson.
Now you know the equation for David’s four year fate. Somewhere in this wild storm of life, education, talent, passion and happenstance a brand concept called Wild Things Antiques blossomed. What started out as date nights to antique malls and thrift stores turned into a marriage, a multi-state border move and a storefront in the Lyn-Lake/Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN.
The story isn’t all that simple, but just about as whimsical. When David and Joshua met in 2016 a casual night out ended with David snooping through Joshua’s Cincinnati abode, flipping over all of the things that Joshua had collected on his personal endeavors to thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales and flea markets. It was one of the things Joshua enjoyed most, although he had no idea what he was collecting. David grew up around antiques, his family owned an antiques shop. Picture this, a 12 year old boy at an auction outbidding you on glass and pottery to resell, his ambition was to buy his first car when he turned 16. It turns out that knowledge and passion doesn’t leave you, it only hides and them comes back when you least expect it to. David has spent the last three years brushing up on old antique and vintage knowledge and learning and discovering loads of new knowledge. He uses this knowledge on a daily basis to help customers of all ages, shapes, sizes, gender identities, sexual orientations and personal styles to find treasures to fill their walls and houses with joy. “And the walls became the world all around” by Maurice Sendak from the book Where The Wild Things Are is the inspiration for a lot of the things Joshua has done and continues to do in life, the tattoo on his right should is proof of just how meaningful this book and its illustrations are.
The two realized that their styles combined created an eclectic mix of goods that some would consider “wild” in the best way possible. This started making more sense when they were coming up with a name for their concept. Then they realized that when collectors find things they collect in shops, thrift stores and antique malls they refer to their find as being “in the wild”. Wild Things Antiques became the only appropriate name for the concept.
Joshua and David collect, buy, sell and trade only things that they love. The passion behind the product is obvious when you speak with either of them about the décor in their home and how its ever changing, much like the stock at their storefront. In fact, they live by a rule “once an item comes in the house, one must leave to be sold at the shop”. The shop has also grown into an online presence and they sell and ship items all around the world at https://www.wildthingsarehere.com. Everything that they offer in the shop is available in real time online to buy online and pick up in-store or to buy online and ship. This keeps the merchandise moving so that every time you visit, the shop never looks the same.
Joshua and David emphasize that their shop isn’t just for selling merchandise and sharing a passion for old things. It is also a safe haven where they seek to host events for all groups needing somewhere that allows them to be themselves and exist in peace. The LGBTQ community in Minneapolis has helped Joshua grow and realize that sharing joy, passion and differences is what makes relationships of all kinds whole. If your group is looking for a space to hold a small event they’d love to chat. If you are just looking for something fun to do keep an eye on their social media as they stay open late multiple times a month and have beer, wine and tasty treats to get the community together, and as always, everyone is welco