Afton gets a 'pick'-me-up
For three Oakdale residents — Mike Dahlhauser, Angela Dahlhauser and Anna Lee — furniture of the past is something that needs to be preserved.
"They don't make things like they used to," Mike Dahlhauser said.
"It's all about the details," Angela Dahlhauser said.
The three have taken their love of historic furniture and turned it into a new business in Afton's Old Village called 3:17 Vintage Furniture & Home Decor.
The business, located in the old "Little Red House Building" at 3192 St. Croix Trail S., specializes in refurbished and repurposed furniture and home decor.
Creative Cottage occupied the space most recently.
3:17 Vintage Furniture & Home Decor carries everything from refurbished architectural salvage, such as signs, repurposed and refurbished furniture, furniture made out of recycled materials — such as barn doors and scrap metal — and everything in between.
"Every piece is so unique in itself," Angela Dahlhauser said. "You don't want a piece that you're going to see in everybody else's home.
"If you see something that you want, you need to grab it because you're never going to see it again."
More than a store
The Dahlhausers and Lee sort of stumbled into the refurbished furniture business.
Mike Dahlhauser, who owns a furniture finishing business, and Anna Lee, who dabbled in repurposing items, met by chance and learned that they, and Angela Dahlhauser, all had a similar interest in refurbishing.
"Finishing was the niche Mike started in because he does that for people all the time," Angela Dahlhauser said. "But this is a lot more fun because we able to find the pieces, choose colors and choose the finish."
For the past couple years, the three had run a business of the Dahlhausers' home.
"We would clean out our entire house, bring everything in and stage it," Angela Dahlhauser said.
It was by chance that the Dahlhausers and Lee stumbled upon the "Little Red House."
"The place came out of nowhere," Angela Dahlhauser said. "We weren't really looking for a place, but we knew we were getting so many more custom orders, so we decided to take a leap of faith."
"As soon as we drove in I fell in love with the small town charm," Lee said.
"It really fits well with our style," Mike Dahlhauser said. "It has all the charm and the problems that an old vintage house has."
The name 3:17 Vintage Furniture & Home Decor stems from the Colossians 3:17 Bible verse, which reads: "Whatever you do or say, do unto the Lord," Angela Dahlhauser said.
"There's definitely more meaning to what we do and we want to be able to share that," she said. "We want to be more than just a store, we want to be able to connect with people and touch their lives."
Bringing pieces to life
When it comes to finding their merchandise, Mike Dahlhauser said they look everywhere from auctions to estate sales to Craigslist to Dumpsters.
"We get anything that catches our eye at the time," he said.
Typically, Mike Dahlhauser instantly has an idea of what he wants to do with a piece that they find.
Lee said it varies how long they spend on a piece. It can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple weeks.
"It's really fun to have a piece that you enjoyed working on," she said, "while having other people enjoy it."
3:17 Vintage Furniture & Home Decor also takes commissions and custom orders.
"If we don't have it," Angela Dahlhauser said, "we'll find it or we'll make it."
Angela and Mike Dahlhauser and Lee all said they can bring history to their customers.
"It's about the nostalgia of the yesteryears and being able to appreciate things from back in time," Lee said.
3:17 Vintage Furniture & Home Decor is open every second weekend of the month, Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store will also be open during Afton events such as Art in the Park, Ultimate Girls Night Out and Afton Village Holiday.