The place remains a haven for the bizarre books previously propping up chairs and the dusty cowboy boots that may have been a hit in the 70’s but didn’t quite make this year’s cut. It offers second chances for abandoned hobbies and dismembered dolls that were too creepy to keep in the closet but just creepy enough to find a home along with the books and a myriad of other things, at Curiosities Antique Store.
This antique store, nuzzled between a restaurant and a pet store on Abrams Road in East Dallas, delves much deeper into the hidden corners of the attic when it comes to strange finds. Owner of Curiosities, Jason Cohen, and manager, Sandy Outland, take in overlooked “clutter;” search for its true potential, and give the forgotten knickknacks a second chance at new life in the store.
Referring back to the opening of the store ten years ago, Cohen said, “My mom and my father were antique dealers, so I grew up around it. When we decided to open, I was in a different antique business and so was my mother, so we decided to combine all the relics into one shop.”
When entering the warmly lit store, keeping a close eye is the only way to truly capture how much the shop has grown since Cohen first opened. From afar, the antiques seem almost impossible to organize, but peering closer, one will notice how the artifacts are arranged in neat, categorized corners of the store.
One cranny holds prizes from a child’s early 20th-century cracker jack box, and a haunting clown marionette that performed in countless shows in a kid’s playroom. Once these antiques may have seemed worthless and trivial. Curiosities, however, welcomes and arranges the trinkets into a timeless toy box to bring back the best of childhood.
“A lot of times, people come in who are just looking for nostalgic items that remind them of their own past,” said Cohen. “You know, if they were raised in a house with belongings from a certain time-period, these things help to bring back good memories.”
As the perfect place for a quick trip down memory lane, the store presents displays that pertain to the current holiday or season.
During Christmas, Curiosities sifts through its massive collection and fishes out anything with a corncob pipe and a button nose.
In previous years, the store has exhibited the childhood tradition of Santa Clause throughout the decades. Each era’s depiction of the favorite Old Saint Nick played a part in Curiosities’ own unique Santa Land.
“We have Santas from all eras. My favorite is this Santa cup with winky, blinky eyes,” said Outland in a 2016 interview with “Good Morning Texas.”
Although people buy from the store to recollect the good times, the shop receives plenty of people selling their belongings to avoid a bad blast from the past. Unwanted items like one’s grandfather’s old biology posters displaying a cow’s anatomy find a happy home on the walls of the store.
“We get a lot of our stock from people who come in with items left from relatives or are downsizing. Most of our stuff in from the general public,” Cohen said.
Curiosities’ wide collection is everything but conventional, and the customers praise the oddities. “It is an eclectic mélange of strange, cool, and vintage items,” acclaims Vanessa H., a devout customer of the store.
However, with massive paper airplanes hanging from the ceiling, vintage postcards hidden in squeaky drawers, and retro ball gowns stacked high and mighty, the antiques speak for themselves. With one look into the shop, it becomes quite clear that there is no possibility of counting every mysterious heirloom.
Pondering on the countless inventory, Cohen said, “There’s no telling how much we have; I mean, thousands probably. We’ve got a lot of stuff in here.”
Curiosities clearly isn’t anything near classic with their antiques. In fact, Cohen intends to stray as far from the ordinary as possible.
“We like a lot of more oddball objects or things with history. We deal with a lot of ethnocentric items,” he said. “For example, we’ve had African carved skulls and just other things with culture and history. I mean, I like things with a special power or juju to them.”
Upon leaving the store, a customer is bid farewell by the joyous little jingle of the bell on the door and the weight of the bag filled with her brand new, but charmingly old, antiques to ascertain for a shopping trip well taken.
Store Phone: 214-828-1886
Address: 2025 Abrams Rd, Dallas, Tx 75214
Store Hours: Mon-Thur 10am-6pm