Found, Unique Antique and Artisan Mall

found1By Jon DeStefano

   When Amy Griesheimer decided to go into the antique business, she never had a store, a booth in a mall, or any professional experience with antiques or the antique industry. Her partner John Graefe, who she is quick to point out, is “her other half and the love of her life,” just decided to dive in. Amy started in business many years ago in Aspen, Colorado, where, she explains, “she just fell into the radio business.” Amy always had a passion for digging around and finding something and making it very special.
   A year and one half ago in June 2016 she discovered Ragtime Annies, a Lakewood Antique Mall was for sale. It was a natural fit for her. Amy and John bought it and changed its name to Found. They also made other dramatic changes to the mall which has resulted in a dramatic upgrade of the business and has resulted in a bustling antique and artisan business with 70 vendors spread over 13,000 square feet and offering customers a wide selection of quality antiques, art and furnishings, punctuated by artisan effects, gifts, home decor items and even old time candy. It is all very eclectic.
found2   “I remember,” Amy recalls, ”when we used to go shopping, hunting for things, hoping to discover something unique. That’s the atmosphere I wanted to create in our mall.”
   “It is kind of fun to see a real cool antique piece next to a one of a kind artisan piece. There aren’t a lot of outlets for the artisan and combining them with antiques creates a lot of energy.”
   “It is addictive,” she continues, “when you go out and find that special thing. My friends always teased me that I had a good eye. We would go to the Mile High Flea Market and we would paw through everything, then I would see one thing and it would be the gem of the day. That’s what we want customers to feel at Found.”    That is what customers feel. The mall is uncluttered, beautifully decorated and one room flows into another, leading the customers on an enjoyable treasure hunt.
   “The staff is like family at Found. We wanted quality dealers,and that’s what we have. We don’t just rent to anybody. We vet them out. A lot of artisans rent from us, it’s very eclectic. It’s pretty good for them whether they are a stay-at-home mom, a retired person or full time, they can just rent space and they have a shop daily.”
found3   “Our staff is amazing,” Amy continues, “our manager Mehdi Esfahani and his staff Marilyn, Stacey, Bobby and Scott are wonderful and can help customers find anything. Mehdi has beautiful hand woven Persian rugs in his space and draws many people into the mall.”
   Found has a little room left but it is filling up. It’s really exciting and it gives a better experience for the customer to have so much to choose from without being overwhelmed. People underestimate the size of Found. They come in and are pleasantly surprised by all it has to offer.
   Amy and John’s goal is to open additional stores under the Found name. Their vision is to bring together one-of-a-kind cool antiques and one-of-a-kind artisan pieces, where you can find both in one place. Amy is proud with what she and John have accomplished at Found and they should be because they have accomplished a lot. Found gives artisans an outlet for their creativity and customers feel they can find something special in each room and that’s good for all the dealers.
   Amy tells the story about the tugboat light at the front of the store from the 1940’s which she found in Wisconsin on the way home. When she got back home she plugged it in because she didn’t know if it worked. and she discovered the light bulb in it was “Popeye” from the 1940’s. Discovering something special is always a thrill for anyone and you will find like this author has, that Found is a very special place.
   Found is a great place to go and find stuff for the holidays. A place where you can find something unique for everyone. The hours are Monday through Saturday 10 to 6 and Sunday 1 to 5. It is located at 4501 Wadsworth Blvd. in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Their phone is 303-463-7796.

 

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