Islander Bonnie Auer’s eclectic thrift shop Lost and Found has reopened its doors in a new location in town after she left her space of the last 15 years in Burton last spring.
Only days after making the move official, Auer is still settling in and will be deciding on her regular hours of operation after the holidays. But she said the store has been bustling with both new faces and old, stopping in to browse her collection of vintage goods and unique pieces found on her travels.
“That’s what I like. It’s social, we talk, we network. There’s a lot that happens in these spaces,” said Auer, recounting what she loved best about her previous location. “That’s what was so nice, all the people. It wasn’t just a store.”
But now, in the former Rock It! Consignment & Alterations space — which has moved next door — Auer expects that the business will keep her busy and that visitors will always find something new each time they stop by.
“The biggest thing is changing it up every day, bringing something in,” she said.
Colorful, handwoven patterned rugs found during a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, adorning the far wall are just some examples of the worldly wares Auer has brought to the island. She has a number of sleek, mid-century style lamps, large canvas paintings, Turkish scarves, small china dishes and wooden trinket boxes, and a table where customers may sample a spread of treats and coffee from faraway places.
Auer heads to New Orleans every year and always brings back interesting finds to display such as artwork created by a prisoner at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Her trips to the Big Easy began in earnest after joining a volunteer effort to raise money for the renovation of a community center in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. To Auer, one of the best aspects of the job is connecting with others, using the shop as a platofrm to help those in need, from promoting artists to rehoming pets who need to find new families.
“It’s a nice place to meet people and tell stories,” Auer said.
Over at Rock It!, manager Alena Sinacola said owners Meri Nimz and Leli Yulianti decided the new space was a better fit for their needs, allowing for a more workable layout.
“We felt like we kind of expanded as much as we could,” said Sinacola, who added that the staff is pleased with the move. “It feels great. People are loving it, we’re loving it, and it has a really good energy here, which is nice.”
Rock It! is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday.