Kelly Wallace may have one of the safest shops at 50th & Xerxes — she spent 15 years as a deputy sheriff at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department.
She said there is virtually no similarity between her careers at the sheriff’s office and antiquing, but she’s loved both. She opened A Rare Bird Antiques at 3016 W. 50th St. about nine months ago, and she opened a second location on the same block at 3012 W. 50th St. a few weeks ago.
“I grew up in this neighborhood,” she said. “I absolutely adored that storefront for years. Growing up here, it feels so comfortable to me.”
The shops include an elk antler chair from the late 1800s, several plants (she completed a master gardener program years ago), Italian gilded mirrors, and furnishings that include “the sweetest pink garden chair.” Original artwork ranges from botanical prints and oil paintings to watercolors and charcoal drawings. Wallace is partial to hard-to-find florals and portraits of women.
“I am a huge believer in surrounding yourself with original artwork whenever you can,” she said.
Lady Gouldian finches chirp in an antique French cage behind the register, hidden behind a heavy curtain on colder days. The colorful Australian birds are an endangered species, and local breeders are working to boost their population, she said.
Wallace provides shelf space for local women business owners, which she said is an important aspect of her store. She said Sweet Jules caramels, made by sisters in St. Joseph, Minn., are “some of the best caramels I’ve ever had,” and she loves handmade paper products by Myrtle Sletta’s.
A Rare Bird Antiques at 3016 W. 50th St. is open Thursday thru Saturday 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.