A new addition to California's downtown business options is in the process of preparing for regular monthly openings to the public.
Father-daughter duo Laura Distler and Paul Bloch recently decided to turn their love of antiquing into a business. The Milkbarn is in downtown California, where the pair is currently renovating a building for their shop to call home.
"I just moved back to California about a year ago," Distler said. "And dad and I have always been really into antiques and things like that. So, we thought it would be fun to start up a little store, and, I mean, it's something fun for us to do together."
The location was an easy choice. They not only love the old buildings, which pairs perfectly with their shop, but they always want to bring people to the downtown area and help that part of town to flourish.
Milkbarn hosted a soft opening during the Ozark Ham & Turkey Celebration in September, allowing the community to come in and take a peek at what they have. The store will only be open once a month, with the next instance being in November due to the renovations currently taking place. At its November opening, the business is planning on having a Christmas sale with a vintage, farmhouse style, along with other festive pieces.
The two enjoy adding to their collection. They snag their finds at garage sales, auctions, on Facebook Marketplace and through gifts. Though they love all the pieces they find, they're not able to keep them all. So, Distler said, the shop is a way for them to continue to find these incredible pieces and share them with the community at an affordable price.
"Laura really understands what the market likes," Bloch said. "I can't figure that out. I can fix a piece of furniture. She knows which piece is going to sell. She has a good eye for it."
The Milkbarn is full of unique, fun pieces with a lot of character left to give. Walking through the shop, there's an old hospital bed found in a barn, corbels saved off a porch from a house here in town, an old typewriter, hutches and several chairs.
"If you have anything old, rusty, dusty, out in the barn, it's probably something I'd be interested in," Distler said. "The mass-produced stuff isn't where I'm at. I like things more unique with character."
When they start their regular monthly openings, the pair is hoping to bring some food trucks downtown and have different local vendors to make it more of an event and bring more awareness to the historic side of town.
"If they love old stuff, we want this to be a place where they can come out and look," Distler said." They don't even have to buy stuff, just check stuff out. Come down to this part of town and see what's new not only in the shop but also over on this side of town."