Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Pearl Button Primitives: A gem of a shop in Waseca July 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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I’VE SHOPPED COUNTLESS antique shops in my life.

Looking toward the front of Pearl Button Primitives.

Looking toward the front of Pearl Button Primitives.

But never have I seen one as artistically inclined as Pearl Button Primitives in downtown Waseca.

A candy display rack repurposed.

A candy display rack repurposed.

Shopping here is like perusing an art gallery or perhaps a museum curated by someone with an artistic flair.

This setting seems the perfect prompt for a story.

This setting seems the perfect prompt for a story.

I expect that’s because Justine Meyer possesses an educational background in art. It shows in the way she artfully arranges merchandise in snippet scenes that catch the eye.

A backdrop of vintage magazine pages create visual interest.

A backdrop of vintage magazine pages create visual interest.

Afghans and quilts brighten walls. Vintage ads and magazine pages make for unique merchandise backdrops. Rows of 45 rpm vinyl records precisely arranged on a wall appear pop art style. A vintage suitcase holds Carolyn Keene’s The Mystery of the Ivory Charm, Zane Grey’s Nevada and other old books. Plastic magnetic letters—the type my kids once plastered to the front of the fridge—provide a visual pop of color in a chest of drawers. I wonder whether my eldest would appreciate one of the maps splayed across the wall.

The back room.

The back room.

There’s so much to take in here that I really needed more than the 20 minutes I wandered through the shop on a recent Saturday afternoon. But Justine and crew (friends are part of the business, too) were already plucking up merchandise that had been hauled out back for an alley garage sale when I arrived late. They are clearing out, making way for new stuff and promise more such sales. I figured I best not linger too long.

Beautiful pairing of colors.

Beautiful setting just makes me want to scoop up these dishes.

Pearl Button Primitives describes itself as “an eclectic mix of antiques and primitives; featuring vintage jewelry & buttons, linens, architectural salvage, furniture, pottery, and other gathered treasures all lovingly displayed.”

A little quirky, a little scary.

Quirky.

In the tight space of this shop, antiques and collectibles abound. Quirky doll heads with open and shut eyes remind me of my favorite childhood doll.

It takes an artist's eye to pair this coat with this afghan.

It takes an artist’s eye to pair this coat with this afghan. Textures and contrast of color make this work.

Milk bottles and vintage jewelry pins and wash tubs and dainty floral hankies and dishes and a lovely coat and so much more draw my interest.

Symmetry and simplicity makes this display work.

Repetition and simplicity. Perfect.

But it is the artsy displays, the attention to detail, the obvious time and care invested here which most impress me.

There's something about this portrait of a determined, defiant woman with an attitude that I love.

There’s something about this portrait of a determined, defiant woman with an attitude that I love.

This shop makes a memorable imprint. Just like the “Woman with an attitude,” as I’ve dubbed the hands-on-hips woman in a portrait showcased at the front of the store. Love that painting.

The narrow space that connects the front of the shop to the back.

The narrow space that connects the front of the shop to the back.

Love this shop.

FYI: Pearl Button Primitives, 206 N. State Street, Waseca, is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, but not year-round. Best check before you visit. Click here to reach the shop’s website and here to reach the Facebook page. Phone: 507-461-1648.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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23 Responses to “Pearl Button Primitives: A gem of a shop in Waseca”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    Nice eclectic collection of interesting merchandise. Love these kind of stores.

  2. Thread crazy Says:

    What a neat little antique shop you’ve discovered…just love it. Those salmon colored dishes are to die for!!! If only I were a bit closer…..thanks for letting us visit also.

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    You are so right! This is a very special shop. The quilt (3rd photo on wall) is a pattern I’ve not seen before. All so lovely and just begging to go home with you (me??)!!! I imagine that hours wouldn’t be enough time to take in everything!!!!

  4. What a Great Place to Explore – Spend Hours in there just looking at everything! That one baby doll head just gives me the CREEPS. Thanks so much for sharing – Happy Weekend 🙂

  5. Jackie Says:

    Looks like a very fun place to spend some time snooping 🙂 I love the portrait of the woman as well… Did you see a price on it ?

  6. Beth Ann Says:

    Great find! I love places like that myself. The determined woman picture is perfect—-I could see that in so many settings—like my office! 🙂 I could imagine 20 minutes would not be nearly enough time to see it all. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Couldn’t agree more with your review. Happy to call Justine my friend!


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