By DORIAN NEIGHBORS and BRANDON SAGLAM
The Redlands Galleria is a quaint antique store in Downtown Redlands. It gains the majority of its inventory through community donations, making it a very personal and heartfelt experience.
It consists of three floors and the system as to how the stock is organized is not immediately apparent to the common customer. The winding maze of furniture, paintings and knick-knacks allows patrons to find the hidden wonders in their own time.
The store contains everything from old comic books to dresses like the ones that may be found in a grandmother’s closet. Granted, there are some faded trends in the store, but old fads have been making a comeback as of late, so finding a new outfit or book to read would be an easy task.
Immediately after entering, there is a sense of the historical and sentimental value of the commodities. There are dozens of old pictures and pieces of jewelry to look at while walking through. Visiting the shop can make for a relaxed, lovely afternoon as the store is hardly crowded and is relatively quiet as a result. The tranquil surroundings make for a much more intimate experience. It allows genuine conversation to flow within the visitors personal bubble, attaining a sensation of privacy whilst exploring the vast expanse of whole other world.
Nothing completely tops going into the store and seeing first-hand all the products they have to offer. It is an experience impossible to get through online shopping, as the ability to feel the texture of the fabric or the scent of the soaps is nonexistent. Regardless of individual interests, there is something stashed away in the Redlands Galleria for everyone.
Carol Gossette, one of the founding owners, has been involved with the antique store for 17 years. The founders created this store after the success of a previous store, and bought the building in Downtown Redlands. She believes the store is “clean” and “friendly,” which can be an uncommon trait found in some stores. The sentimental value is a strong value of the stores, because it often “takes people back to their childhood” according to Gossette. “People come in and say, ‘oh, my grandma had one of those!’ It just makes people feel good.” Gossette’s advice for buying antiques is simply “buy what appeals to you” without worrying about the age or value of the piece.
The dated, classic look of antiques gives a distinct character to any space, which can be crafted as fine artworks if preserved well. Antiques can give a sense of what one was, or even what will be; they can embody past tastes and times, giving it a truly irreplaceable position in any society. By stopping by a hole-in-the-wall antique store, there is no purchasing of seemingly meaningless furniture, but of memories and stories.