Owners and sellers at occasional shops, consignment stores and thrift stores say the trends we saw in 2020 are likely to continue in 2021.

Occasional shops

Carol Loshek, The Cottage Cupboard in Winona: “Where I and Coleen Wanek feature unique locally handmade and repurposed creations — all popular again this year. Hand-poured soy candles are always great sellers. Not sure how gnomes will fare in 2021, but they were popular at all of our sales. We think this coming year is going to be good for small businesses, as people want to get 'back to normal.' For many, this means shopping, with our next sale the Thursday-Saturday before Mother's Day.”

Shayna Dais, Rusty Bucket in Winona: “Small painted furniture pieces are always big! I am thinking the farmhouse look will be big in 2021, with lots of neutral, muted colors, rust and old wood. Our next opening weekend, Feb. 6-7.”

Fruit canning jars at the Rusty Bucket in Winona. (Contributed photo)
Fruit canning jars at the Rusty Bucket in Winona. (Contributed photo)

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Jenna Marie Lubinski, The Refinery in Winona: “This last year, two things were really big: large white 6-8-9 drawer dressers with wood tops, and everything boho, or bohemian style. Large, colorful kantha blankets; white base tables with large Carrara marble tops; and wordy signs to fill your home with inspirational quotes.

"The year 2021 is taking a step back into simplicity. I believe in filling your home with items you love. Since we are spending a majority of our time within our own spaces, you should be able to seek out pieces that really spark a feeling inside. I also see a lot of black, white and cognac brown, with touches of green for spring.

"The best part of 2020 — the tables that were sold for families to use as a gathering place, a study hall, a home office. That has been the best of all! French farmhouse already coming together at the shop. I’ll see everyone Jan. 8-9.”


Penny Bracken, Kismet in Rochester: “What’s been hot for the year 2020? Interestingly enough, it was practical, functional, useful, pieces of furniture of all eras. As people were in their houses more than ever, learning to work remotely, do school from home and expand their cooking skills. I found the people just wanted to enhance and make their living space more usable, comfortable and multifunctional.

"Being a consignment store has been a real advantage — people can actually buy the furniture pieces right off the floor and take them home. On the flip side, we’ve gained a whole new clientele of people wanting to sell their furniture to make room for new items!

"I would say desks and bookshelves are the No. 1 sellers, from beautiful mission-style Quarter Sawn oak, to a traditional elementary school desk. We’ve seen every style and age of desk in the last nine months.

"I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you what will be hot in 2021, but one thing I do know is we will be collaborating with a new design service, which will occupy our 609 N. Broadway space previously occupied by Gillespie Sporting Goods — more on that as the project unfolds. We are currently now on our winter break. Time to hibernate and rejuvenate. Kismet will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 2!”


Betty Butters, Catch My Thrift in Racine: “Because of COVID, a lot of people were decorating, so décor was hot, first part. Crafts, anything to do with family gatherings, puzzles. Then jars, canning, etc. I had a big interruption with the move of the shop from Stewartville to Racine. I feel 2021 is still up in the air. I hope it will be moving more toward back to the basics. Open every day at 204 N. Main St., Racine.”

A few bargains and furniture pieces in October 2020 at Catch My Thrift in Racine. (Contributed photo)
A few bargains and furniture pieces in October 2020 at Catch My Thrift in Racine. (Contributed photo)

Sandy Erdman is a Winona-based freelance writer and certified appraiser concentrating on vintage, antique and collectible items. Send comments and story suggestions to Sandy at life@postbulletin.com.