You may think it’s an impossible task to avoid filling your home with cookie cutter furnishings (Ikea, anyone?) without spending a fortune. Tony Wilson, Stapleton resident and owner of Rare Finds, travels the world handpicking unique, high quality furniture and home décor built by skilled artisans – and sells it at a reasonable price point.
Rare Finds is located on the edge of Stapleton, hidden in plain sight off I-70 and Monaco next to a marijuana dispensary. The nondescript storefront surprisingly unfolds into a 12,000-plus square-foot wonderland full of drool-worthy furnishings to fill every corner of your home. Customers will find one-of-a-kind pieces ranging from accent furniture, architectural salvage, decorative accessories and lighting, to dining room and living room furniture.
Since discovering Rare Finds a few years ago, I’ve purchased a metal and antique wood coffee table that’s on casters, two wooden painted hutches, a buttery soft full grain leather sofa and two coffee tables for my husband’s office. I love knowing that no one else is going to have my exact pieces – and I feel good about the reasonable prices.
New containers frequently arrive, so the inventory is constantly changing. So, if you see something you like, you might want to buy it on the spot before it’s gone. The store has weekly sales, so most days you will be able to get 20 percent off the printed price. If you’re lucky, you might find a treasure with a red sticker; that means the item is 50 percent off.
When I spoke with Tony, he was preparing to leave for a 23-day picking trip in Thailand, India and Indonesia in search of more treasures. He runs the store with business partner Brad Gruenwald, and a staff of customer service-minded employees.
“We buy things that no one else is buying,” Tony says. “Most furniture companies just go to trade shows and never see where the goods originate. I travel about 100 days each year – some of that is American trade shows and antique shows – but I primarily go to small villages in countries like Vietnam, China, Indonesia, India and Thailand to work directly with artisans.”
Tony also works with several Colorado artisans, including woodworkers and metalworkers. There’s a section of the showroom dedicated to wood tables that can be custom built for customers.
His efforts are paying off. Since opening to the public in 2013 (the store began as a wholesaler), Rare Finds has racked up numerous accolades as Denver’s best furniture store from 5280 Magazine, Westword and Denver A List.
“We’re proud to offer items unique to any other furniture you’ll find out there,” Brad says. “Our furnishings tell a story that I can trace all the way back to the artisan.”
In fact, Tony pulled out his smart phone and showed me a photo of a large slab of raw monkey wood in Thailand. He then scrolled to a photo of an artisan making a stunning console out of the same wood. Finally, he showed a picture of the finished piece displayed in his customer’s home.