Next to the Northstar Mattress factory, one might expect to find a warehouse full of boxes. But step under Urban Market’s canvas awning, and you’ll find an oasis of beautiful home décor, accessories and fashion. Locally based Lillian’s, Yesterday’s Charm and Painted Table have teamed up to convert a sprawling warehouse space into a destination shopping experience that just so happens to be right next door in Medina.
Connoisseurs of regional boutiques might already know Lillian’s from the nine franchises around the state, and this latest store doesn’t disappoint, with loads of fun, affordable fashion in stock. From printed caftans and flirty chiffon tops to headbands embellished with beads and lace, the pieces are affordable and on-trend. The ever-changing inventory includes Big Buddha handbags, tops and dresses from Papillion, and Sanuk’s ultra-comfortable footwear. Owner Sue Olmscheid says she loves to create a unique customer experience that sets her boutique apart from big-box stores.
“We hostess more than a typical retailer,” she says. “We’re playing music from the crooners, Frank and Dean; we have coffee and treats; we even ring a bell when a customer uses their loyalty card.”
You’ll also find Yesterday’s Charm among the vendors at Urban Market. The home décor and accessories store has a 10-year-old sister facility in Buffalo, and both locations specialize in an eclectic mix of current and vintage-inspired products. Owner Marjorie Schumacher’s love of furnishings and interiors began when she was a little girl.
“It was just one of those gifts that was in me even as a young girl at Grandma’s,” she says. “I grew up with a fondness for furnishings, textiles and color, and it evolved into opening a store.” Her refurbished finds add a chic cottage touch to the warehouse’s other offerings: She stocks throw pillows, antique accessories and an assortment of high-quality soy candles. There are lots of beautiful lighting options, too. “Women love lamps,” she says with a smile, “so we always have lots of those.”
Painted Table adds a custom twist to the décor at Urban Market. Diane Choiniere, Nancy DeSchane and Sally DeSchane-LeMay, sisters and co-owners, love helping their customers re-imagine furniture they already own.
“If you re-style something, you don’t have to spend money buying new furniture. It’s recycling at its best,” Nancy DeSchane says. “Most older furniture is made of solid wood and better craftsmanship, so you can get higher quality at a lower cost.” The sisters also own an outlet in White Bear Lake, and they are excited to reach a new customer base in the western suburbs. Their colorful merchandise includes an ever-rotating mix of dressers, buffets and side tables, as well as retro tin signs, clocks and hardware. Customers can bring furniture in for customization, and there are even weekend workshops for those who want to try the do-it-yourself approach, but appreciate the expert guidance. Complimentary wine and snacks don’t hurt, either.