WICKER PARK — A store selling handpicked finds from two longtime antique and vintage resellers has opened in Wicker Park.
Harlequin Vintage, 1418 W. Division St., is the first brick-and-mortar store for Melissa Beilstein and Dave Rubin, who have been buying and selling vintage lamps, paintings, glassware, furniture and more for decades.
The duo met in 2020 when Beilstein stopped by Dave’s apartment to check out a starburst clock he was selling online. While there, they hit it off over Rubin’s extensive collection of paintings and glassware, and the two stayed in touch.
Soon, they started going to estate sales and other events, and they eventually went in on a storage unit to house their wares while reselling them online.
“We just had kind of a common interest. We both were a little bit over the top with our collecting and buying things. And she liked what I bought; I liked what she bought,” Rubin said.
Now, they’ve opened the Division Street store to personally connect with customers and store their ever-growing eclectic collection, including “rain” lamps with falling lights and light-up paintings. The store also has furniture, records, stereos and clothes, among many other finds.
It’s a medley of Rubin and Beilstein’s taste and passion for collecting.
“Aesthetically, if I like something, she usually likes it. She knows what I like; I know what she’s likes. We’ll be at a rummage sale or something, a swap-me, and some things I’ll just pass up just waiting for her to catch it,” Rubin said.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, vintage furniture and housewares saw a boom in demand, especially on social media. Many resellers started flipping items on Instagram, attracting customers who were stuck in their homes.
Beilstein said that spike certainly impacted her online business, and that led to her wanting to open a physical store.
“One of the things I cherished was my home during the pandemic,” she said. “But I also realized there’s so much that I can give back to the vintage universe. And that kind of is what led me in the direction of doing the shop. Because I was like, ‘OK, it’s time to let go of this stuff.'”
Beilstein said she sees her and Rubin’s store as part of that larger trend, but she also wants to make sure its items remain accessible to customers.
“We want to be able to afford it so that we can price it reasonably so someone can come in here and take it home,” she said. “From my experience, we’ve got a lot of antique and vintage stores … that are more like museums, where you go in and everything is a couple thousand dollars and you ooh and you ahh but don’t take anything home.”
Among the many items only found at Harlequin are Rubin’s handmade lamps, which he converts from old film projectors. Rubin does much of the wiring and electrical work on the light-up paintings, lamps and stereos, he said.
Harlequin Vintage is open 4-9 p.m. Fridays and noon-8 p.m. weekends. For an appointment during other times, customers can call or text 847-208-1112. More information is available on the store’s website and Instagram.
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