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Take Your Pick

A lifelong love of antiques and a historic backdrop inspires Pickers Paradise
Pickers Paradise owner, Michelle Buse.Pickers Paradise owner, Michelle Buse.
Pickers Paradise owner, Michelle Buse.

Michelle Buse first became interested in antiques as a child growing up in the farming community of Huntingburg, Ind. As she learned more about antiques, she discovered that many were quite expensive. Her dream for a future business was a little shop that would feature desirable and interesting collectibles, but in a price range that would work for customers on a budget.

She married her husband, Rex, and spent the next two decades rearing four sons, now ranging in age from 5 to 20, but never forgot her dream of opening a store. Buse spent her spare moments combing estate sales and flea markets to amass items she felt would make a great inventory. With Rex’s encouragement, she began searching for the right space.

In November 2011, Buse moved her finds into the 100-year-old Jacob H. Frick house, and opened Pickers Paradise. Adding stock of art and jewelry, each room contains a mixture of old and new, with price stickers that range from 99 cents to around $200.

It did not take long for customers to discover this charming shop, and Buse has kept busy searching for new merchandise. The Victorian porch is filled with tempting items so new customers can spot it easily from the road, with ample parking available at the back of the house. Seasonal items, especially Christmas merchandise, will be making an appearance soon.

Buse is a firm believer in making this venture a family effort, and is assisted by two of her sons. The shop’s Facebook page is updated frequently, allowing followers to find out what is currently in stock. She also has set up a “want book.” Customers can write down what items they are searching for, and Buse will try to find them.

Though the historic home is a great vintage backdrop for her large inventory of furniture, artwork, home accessories, and kitchen items, Buse finds herself always in need of more space. But regardless of room, there are always treasures. “On any given day, you never know what ‘new’ items you are going to find at the store,” she says. “One latest find is a vintage glider that I am in love with.”

405 N. Main St., Huntingburg, Ind., 812-684-0110
Open 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays.

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