Shinola: Art, Antiques, and Funk


It was a treasure trove of possibility. Full of trinkets and knick-knacks and the occasional farm animal…

Shinola. An antique store that I have driven past bi-weekly for months as I make my way to a volunteer program I am involved in, has been a twinkle in my eye that I have always wanted to capture. Its mention by the concept designers at the goddess of all clothing stores, Anthropologie, where I work a few shifts a week, has also convinced me that this is where it’s at {ending a sentence with a preposition. Me oh me. English major no-no. But I’m going to go ahead and call it writer’s voice}.

I am enthralled by this whole idea of “antiquing” because it seems so darn pinterest-y and so bohemian cool girl in the city, so what I aspire to be (except I’m nothing of the sort). I want my home, well, my small downtown studio apartment, to be furnished and decorated so individualistically that those who cross the threshold, shuffling their feet across my floral welcome mat, will exclaim with exuberance how well put together my digs are! A girl can (day)dream.


So that whole bohemian vibe didn’t work out to well.  I realized after visiting Shinola that I like my material goods new, clean, and without the some other person’s grandma’s living room smell. I’m more glam-tastic than boho chic, opting out of thrift store bargains and steals for the full priced merchandise. My bank account is sighing as we speak.

Shinola, which I assumed had some ties to Hebrew, is actually a euphemism for sh!t and that’s pretty much what I thought of the premises. A pile of shinola. And upon arriving, we were surprised to find some farm foul bopping about the front window display. Some hens and some baby chicks, a sighting that occurred many times as we maneuvered our way through the store.


Becca Boo and furry friends


My question is….can you purchase these guys?

Now I’m not discouraging those from visiting because some of those antiquers out there could find some decent garden accessories and table accents. The store was brim full of oddities, ranging from cardboard cut outs of Lil’ Bow Wow to old saddles to headless baby dolls (which was the main reason I only toured the store for a few minutes. Fear of decrepit baby dolls). And this was definitely an experience, one that everyone should witness. My friend who accompanied me, Becca, said she would definitely revisit the place when she had more time. You could do some nifty DIY crafts with some of materials within and there were hints of inspiration around the store that my creative mind couldn’t help but notice. Like this blue glass bottle tree that apparently brings good luck.


Or the print and design of this plush arm chair…


Or whatever the heck this is….


Regardless of my opinion, I hope that this has shed some light on some of the less visible attractions of Greenville. Is it odd that I call this an attraction, a word with a positive connotation? No, not really, because it did feel awfully like being in some crazy hall of mirrors, some carnival ride that you couldn’t get off fast enough. But hey! Each to their own…… If you are looking for vintage, quirky, or just plain bizarre to jazz up your abode then you for certain need to meander through the countless rooms in the Shinola layout. Maybe you will come across the most perfect jumping off point for your next home creation. Or maybe you will leave feeling dizzy because of the disarray.



Crazy ladies going antiquing….