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Photos by Kevin Cederstrom/FOCUS
Three generations of antique collectors make up The Cat's Pajamas in downtown New York Mills. The mother and daughter owners Linda Kiehl, right, and Brenda Scheidecker opened up the antique and collectibles shop on Main in Mills. Brenda is holding her 20-month-old daughter Ellie inside the shop.
Photos by Kevin Cederstrom/FOCUS Three generations of antique collectors make up The Cat's Pajamas in downtown New York Mills. The mother and daughter owners Linda Kiehl, right, and Brenda Scheidecker opened up the antique and collectibles shop on Main in Mills. Brenda is holding her 20-month-old daughter Ellie inside the shop.

The Cat's Pajamas opens on Main

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business Perham, 56573

Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

Antiques are the "bee's knees" or "cat's pajamas," or in more modern terms, just plain "cool," for this mother/daughter collectible team.

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With the name taken in part from the hip term of days gone by, The Cat's Pajamas antique, collectibles and curiousities shop is now open in downtown New York Mills.

Linda Kiehl and Brenda Scheidecker have been collecting the majority of their lives. Linda learned from her mother, and passed along the lifestyle to her daughter Brenda, who so far has her 20-month-old daughter Ellie involved in the business.

"We're four generations of junkers," Linda says. "It's kind of a hobby gone wild."

As a collector now for over 40 years, Linda grew up around antiques. Her mother sold at SuLaines in Detroit Lakes up until a couple months ago when she retired at 85.

Linda points out her mother had antiques "before it was fashionable."

The Cat's Pajamas, located on Main in New York Mills between the chiropractor and old bar, opened Nov. 4 and plans a grand opening/open house on Saturday, Nov. 28 to conicide with the Christmas Tree Festival.

With an ever-changing inventory, The Cat's Pajamas has a little bit of everything. Linda says they specialize in vintage costume jewelry from the 1940's to 1960's, when Hollywood was in its heyday of costume jewelry.

There's vintage furniture, vintage lace purchased at an old upholstry and fabric shop, crocks, old keys, photo albums, vintage fishing lures, lanterns and other cabin decor, as well as clothing.

Linda says collecting vintage furniture and other antique items is a great way to recycle. The furniture tends to increase in or retain value much better than much of the new furniture today.

Collectibles like the lace, vintage picture frames, and many other items inside The Cat's Pajamas are also good for re-use in crafting and scrapbooking.

Much of what is or will be inventory at the store comes from the art of garage saling and auctions. There's a bargain around every corner and Linda and Brenda love the treasure hunting.

"You never know what you're going to find," Brenda says.

The love of collecting led Linda and Brenda to the mother of all garage sales last year. The mother and daughter team went on The Junk Jaunt, a 200-mile loop of garage sales and flea markets in Nebraska.

"We had a blast doing that and I think we'll make that a yearly event," Linda says.

Inventory at The Cat's Pajamas is always changing. As items sell, others are put in place daily.

Linda and Brenda, and little Ellie, point out some of the interesting items currently in the store. There's a traveler's wardrobe trunk in good condition, a rare mission oak vanity, and some 1930's original pin-up prints, one featuring the blonde bombshell Jean Harlow.

Standing in the corner near the door is a large wood Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph shipping box. Inside the box sits an interesting oil can collection. The shipping box is sold, but the space likely won't sit empty as Linda has a basement full of treasures at home to showcase at The Cat's Pajamas.

Linda and Brenda welcome visitors to stop by and browse. And with Ellie in the store every day, there's a small play area for the children.

The Cat's Pajamas is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m; other hours by chance or appointment.

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