Carver Junk Company restores antique furniture at 48th & Chicago

Credit: Brandy Dressen, co-owner of Carver Junk Co., with her daughter Delainey. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Carver Junk Company started out as a hobby. On impulse, Brandy and Chad Dressen signed a lease at an old fire station in downtown Carver, Minn. to start an occasional store with restored antique furniture. 

Today it’s Chad’s full-time vocation, clocking 60-70 hours per week, complete with a new store at 48th & Chicago open Thursday thru Sunday. 

The shop includes a tractor wheel converted into a table, standing on a pipe taken from a farm’s water well. A former work bench is refinished for use as a high-top dining or bar table. An old warehouse cart is repurposed into a coffee table. 

“It’s kind of like putting makeup on, modernizing something and bringing it back to life,” Chad said. 

They’re careful to use durable paints that will hold up on furniture over time, and they sell milk paint, which is a nontoxic paint made with milk protein, limestone, clay and natural pigments.

They partnered with Minneapolis Chandlery to create candle scents like “leather and rose” for the store, sold in jars leftover from Brandy and Chad’s former wedding rental business. 

Monthly DIY craft workshops called MakeMN will start in late April.

Brandy and Chad aren’t afraid to pile on new challenges — when they signed a store lease in Carver two-and-a-half years ago, they closed on a new house the same day, one hour earlier. And while caring for a firstborn baby girl, now age seven months, they opened their new store at 4748 Chicago Ave. in mid-December. 

“We’ve been on the lookout for a place here in Minneapolis. We love this neighborhood,” Brandy said. “We couldn’t really pass it up.”