Best Used Junque - 2007
The Whimsey Shoppe
Face it: Antique stores are just resale shops, offering stuff that has managed to outlive the abuse dished out by a series of households where real people ate, slept and kept up with the Joneses. In most antique stores or malls, merchandise is wide but not deep—in other words, a little bit from various eras, countries and styles. Specializing in antiques and collectibles from France, The Whimsey Shoppe gives shoppers a unique window into French history, culture and style (with a dollop of cheek) in two huge stores: 12,000 square feet on Henderson Avenue and 11,000 square feet on Oak Lawn Avenue. The owners, Suzie and Wendell Patterson, scour the French countryside, traveling more than 2,500 miles on each shopping trip, so you don't have to. (And really, who'd want to do all that French traveling, with the culture and fine food and wine and whatnot?) The Pattersons suck it up for you, God love 'em, coming home several times a year with containers of French antiques that range from rustic farm tables to beds that would be perfect in Marie Antoinette's boudoir. Then they send customers The Whimsey Report, a pamphlet of black-and-white drawings of unique items and an account of their adventures in antiquing through Normandy, Burgundy, Champagne and Provence that touches on politics, food and fashion. (Really, we don't envy them. Rubbing our noses in it? No, not at all.) Specialties include French farm tables, armoires and copper. It only takes a few pieces to make it appear as if you found them on your last trip to the Languedoc. Like you'd ever want to go there, what with Oklahoma so close.