FINDLEY LAKE - The Secret Cubby, an antique and vintage home decor store, has successfully completed its first month of business.
Run by owner Nancy Sonney, The Secret Cubby is host to 20 vendors and artists, each selling antique and artisanal goods ranging from furniture and industrial salvage to original paintings and other artwork.
"I want a wide variety," said Sonney, noting that the large number of vendors enables The Secret Cubby to "offer something for everyone," no matter what particular preferences a customer may have.
Nancy Sonney sits among the antiques offered at The Secret Cubby.
Photo by Gavin Mead
Sonney does more than simply offer a space for other vendors, however. She has her own section where she sells antique furniture and home decor. She also operates the store's "Artisan Pop-Up Shop," which features a new artist every month. For the month of May, the "pop-up shop" featured the pottery of Edinboro artist John Giesin. It currently hosts the work of photographer Gayle Winslow, who specializes in still-life and landscape photography. Sonney plans to host a wide range of artists for this monthly feature section. Their work will include not only pottery and photography but also jewelry, paintings and even avant-garde art.
"It's almost like a mini art gallery," Sonney said.
While Sonney lives in Wattsburg, Pa., Findley Lake has provided an excellent set of surroundings for her business. Her aim is that the hamlet, with the addition of The Secret Cubby, will eventually become a destination for lovers of antiques for locals and seasonal visitors alike. As opposed to many similar shops in the area, she plans to maintain her business hours throughout the winter season, with the hope of attracting vacationers from places such as Peek'n Peak.
One of Sonney's primary goals for customers is simply that they have the ability to enjoy themselves. In addition to its selection of antiques, The Secret Cubby also includes a coffee shop, offering the customers a chance to treat themselves and relax while they browse through the selection.
"My goal is to make it happy and enjoyable for them," she said. "It's a good day when they come in the door. I just want them to feel that they can meander and look around."
The goods on display, combined with the small coffee shop and the picturesque setting, add up to create a decidedly simple and peaceful atmosphere.
"I want people to feel at home," Sonney said. "It almost feels like you're walking into your kitchen, and it draws you in."
According to Sonney, the reaction so far has been very positive, especially as word of the new business continues to spread through both social media such as her Facebook page as well as by word of mouth. Her selection acts as a pleasant reminder of the past, often inspiring her customers to share their memories and experiences.
"People will tell me, 'I remember my grandmother having that piece when I was growing up,'" Sonney said.
It is because of interactions such as these that Sonney feels that she is already beginning to meet her expectations of her new business venture which, as she describes, has been on her "bucket list" for a long time.
"Right now the ride is good," she said, and she hopes that her vendors and customers will continue to go for the ride along with her.
Store hours for The Secret Cubby are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. It can be reached at 233-1002.