Lori Anderson has an eye for the unusual. As the owner of , a unique European antique and furniture store in St. Louis Park, she travels all over in search of one-of-a-kind pieces for her customers.
“A lot of businesses say they handpick items, but I literally travel to Paris, Belgium and Holland to find interesting pieces,” she said. “I’m not just looking for a unique piece—I look for things that have a story.”
Pieces like a hand-painted armoire come to Anderson’s mind as she describes some of her favorite finds.
“I found this Danish armoire that dates back to the 1850s and it has this interesting hand painting of a violinist and a person drinking wine,” she said. “That piece didn’t make it to the store. My daughter used to play violin and I do enjoy wine, so it wound up at my house. It just felt like me.”
That armoire only had two owners previously, and it’s those kind of rare pieces of furniture and home accessories that fill her 8,000-square-foot store on 36th Street.
“The store has thousands of things to look at,” customer Jenny Volkey said. “It’s so easy to get lost in the story that a piece of furniture has, that's why I love this store.”
That’s exactly what Anderson sells—antiques with stories.
“When customers give that kind of positive feedback, I take it personally because it’s a reflection of me and my business,” she said.
Anderson bought the business in 2006 and has expanded it from its original antique roots and added interior design services, furniture reproduction services and home accessories. She has a staff of seven that help run the store.
When she’s not jet-setting across Europe, this former Target buyer uses her keen eye for charity. She’s a buyer for the gift shop at Mount Olivet Careview Home.
“It’s completely different than buying for my store,” she said with a smile. For the gift shop she finds greeting cards and other trinkets and treats to fill the shelves.
“It’s a different clientele so it’s a nice change of pace,” she said. “I’ve always considered volunteering an important part of my life.”
Anderson divvies the rest of her time between travel, her store and her two children.