It’s almost impossible to not act like a “kid in a candy store” when you walk into Suburban Renewal. Every inch of the antique and collectible store’s two floors holds something that catches your eye—whether it’s a painting, glassware, costume jewelry, memorabilia, vintage furniture or fair trade crafts.
Suburban Renewal is celebrating its tenth anniversary of bringing the thrill of antiquing to Westchester residents at 1 Main St. in Hastings-on-Hudson.
“The search! I love the search,” said shop owner Fonda Lifrak, who opened the store in 2002. “I’m not someone who lives to go on eBay where you can basically have a collection in one day if you want. I like to hunt around and I like to go to different places. I like to talk to shopkeepers. I like to take a ride up into the country with a cup of coffee and some good music and get off on a side road and find a place. So, for me it’s the hunt of it.”
Suburban Renewal is a moderately priced place to complete your collections and or furnish your home, as the store has items from the 1800s to mid-century modern pieces, collectibles and memorabilia, furniture, gift wear and much more.
Suburban Renewal also has consignment dealers who rent out store space, like Nina Cangiano who sells eco-friendly and fair trade items in the shop, which ensures that those who made the items weren't exploited and were treated and paid fairly for their work.
Though Fonda is an avid antiquer herself—which she sees as the ultimate form of recycling—she has one rule: she won’t by anything for herself unless it has been in her shop a month or longer.
“I’ve seen so many things I’ve loved leave this store, because it was sold before my self imposed limit,” said Fonda.
Fonda, who has lived in Hastings-on-Hudson for the last 22 years, said she loves owning a business where she lives because she knows about three quarters of her customers by name, when they went to the doctor, if their dog was sick, where tey traveled to visit their kids, etc. She says these personal connections are what have lead her to keep a storefront, even during the recent difficult economic times, rather than sell on items online.
“It [the Hastings downtown] has changed as the economy has changed,” said Fonda. “The town at one time was much more vibrant, we had much more diversity of stores.”
To keep up with the changing times, Fonda has increased her store hours, posts on Craigslist, has a Facebook page and is creating a website.
“So, whatever, I can do,” said Fonda. “Times are very tough.”
She hopes to encourage Westchester residents to shop locally to support the local economy and reduce carbon emissions.
“If you don’t come to our downtown, we’re not going to have a downtown,” said Fonda. “We’re going to have all malls. So, I encourage people to always try to come to your downtown first. If you can’t find it here, then you go elsewhere.”
Suburban Renewal- 1 Main St. in Hastings-on-Hudson (914) 478-9421
Store Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Some Sundays (call and listen to the message on the machine); or call to make an appointment