‘Ant’cetera Art & More opens its doors in the West End of Cloquet
Owner Jean Farleigh said she has always been a collector of vintage items and loves looking for them. “Ant’cetera is now a place where she can sell some of the items she has collected over the years.
“I love hunting vintage items, it’s like a treasure hunt,” she said. “I had just retired from teaching last February, so how can I make it profitable now? “
Farleigh said she had always dreamed of starting her own store, but feared how to make one work.
“I had pushed back things like, ‘yeah, I want to do this’, but I didn’t really know where to start,” she said.
Ant’cetera owner Jean Farleigh holds a sculpture of a red ant, which is also the store’s mascot. Diary of Dylan Sherman / Cloquet Pine
Farleigh’s store is located at 109 avenue D, in the West End of Cloquet. The building is owned by his son and has room for future growth.
“The people who came today have shown a lot of interest and enthusiasm,” she said. “They are happy to see something opening up again in this end of town.”
The store’s name comes from his son and daughter’s former tax business called “Ant Tax,” which got its name from a combination of the names of children Adrienne and Travis.
“When I decided to do this, (my daughter) wanted me to keep the ant in the name,” she said.
Farleigh said she was brainstorming names with Julia Jaakola, an artist working with West End Flourish Grants, who came up with “anti-tastic,” and something clicked. Soon after, Farleigh premiered “Ant’cetera”, a play on etc.
In addition to designing the store’s logo, Jaakola said she initially called Farleigh’s son to help him start a business in the area, with the help of a grant for works of art and panels.
“I asked him what he wanted to do (with the store). He said he knew someone who might want to do something with it, ”Jaakola said jokingly pointing to Farleigh.
The store will have an ever-changing inventory, depending on what Farleigh finds, as well as how things are selling.
“I still have a lot more to put in now anyway, it might look full but it’s not full,” she said.
Despite the recent opening, Farleigh said she plans to expand the store in the building and possibly organize art workshops.
“I have family who tell me I should take this kind of art class, but what I do I basically learned on my own,” she said. “But there are things I might be able to do at some point. “
Farleigh plans to sell some of the recycled items she makes, a creative way to reuse what might be an unwanted item, and would use the store’s background as a space to make them.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Friday and Saturday. Farleigh said once she learns a bit more about running the store, the hours may change.