It started over a game of Pop-A-Shot. Nick Thome and his opponent-neighbor Brian O’Malley bonded over the basketball arcade game Thome had bought from an estate sale and discovered they had a common love of collecting oddities. By the end of the game, the pair had agreed to team up to sell their vintage and antique finds.
“We ended up three months later with only a pathway to get around my house,” says O’Malley.
In February, with inventory that outgrew O’Malley’s home and a storage unit, the two opened Relic Home Furnishings + Art Collective in Strongsville. The store mixes one-of-a-kind treasures — antiques, new and reclaimed furniture and home decor items — with pieces from local artists.
“We’re digging through anything we need to — private collectors, sales, word of mouth — we’re all over the place,” says O’Malley.
Customers are encouraged to browse the 3,700-square-foot store to discover gems such as a 1950 German Miele Paratrooper motorcycle ($49,000), an upcycled floor lamp ($300) crafted from a vintage hair dryer and glass tables ($350) with bases made from industrial gears. Rows of colorful, swirled pendant lights and other home decor items from Ohio City’s Glass Bubble Project brighten the suburban store.
Thanks to online research and relationships with collectors, Thome and O’Malley love to share the stories they’ve collected about each item.
“I’d rather they walk out, not just with something nice to hang on the wall, but also the story behind it,” says Thome.
Full Gear: Local artist Mike Mostoller crafts lamps, furniture, clocks and other home decor from all manner of metal parts. Available only at Relic, Mostoller’s work includes clocks made from the plates of a meat grinder, a lamp crafted from a gas pump handle, glass-topped tables on a base of industrial gears, and a vintage oxygen tank transformed into a jewelry cabinet.
Nearby Find: The vintage and antique wares at the more than 5,000-square-foot
Prospector are so bountiful that they regularly spill out of the shop onto the sidewalk. 12482 Prospect Road, Strongsville, 216-640-7770, facebook.com/prospectorestates
When You Go: Relic Home Furnishings + Art Collective, 13281 Prospect Road, Strongsville, relichomefurnishings.com