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Sidetracked by Antiques


More Than A Fad Thrift Store is so much more than an ordinary thrift store. We are passionate about creating community, giving generously, and educating the public about addiction recovery in Edmonton. 

Through highlighting other local businesses and entrepreneurs in our city, we hope to reciprocate the support they have shown us and foster a community that not only supports one another, but also does good for our neighbourhood.  

Today, we are highlighting Lorena Franchuk from Sidetracked by Antiques. Lorena has been a part of our community since the store was known as Treats n' Treasures, and has continued to shop with us after the transition to More Than A Fad. To get in contact with Lorena or learn more about her art text her at 780.720.9654 or email lorenaf@telus.net.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Your name, name of business, anything else you'd like us to know about you.

My name is Lorena Franchuk and I was born in Edmonton, raised in rural Alberta, and after a few moves within the province, I settled back in Edmonton with family. The name Sidetracked by Antiques (and pretty much everything) has a double meaning. My husband is a huge railway fan and loves anything train-related. “Sidetracked” is also fitting as, anyone who knows us, we are easily distracted during our travels by just about anything that piques our interest. We truly are a classic case of getting sidetracked!

How did you get started with your business?

I’ve always had a creative side. As a kid, I would often rearrange my room to give it a new look—even if it meant illogically placing my bed in the centre of my room! Two years ago, I needed to do something for myself amidst the busyness of my family life. I have always enjoyed finding new uses for items, long before upcycling became a trend. The search for treasures in places like More Than a Fad Thrift Store, antique stores and yard sales became an obsession. While I’ve never been a huge china or crystal fan for my own use, I appreciated the lovely patterns and history they represented. I stumbled upon the concept of turning castaway plates and bowls into flower art for the garden and thought it was an interesting concept. It served a dual purpose—saving a memory of a treasured dish and keeping items out of the landfill.

I nervously put out my first garden art flowers to gauge interest at a garage sale. The feedback was so encouraging, I soon joined a couple of friends to sell them at farmer’s markets and other art shows. Many customers told me they loved the idea, and the fact it recycled unwanted dishes (vintage, retro and contemporary) into interesting conversation pieces. Now when I see a dish at a thrift store or elsewhere, I appreciate the designs and often wonder, if the dishes could talk, what stories would they share?

What do you enjoy the most about it?

I love browsing for the items much like a treasure hunt. Combining colours, sizes, shapes and textures brings out my creativity as I strive to make one-of-a-kind flowers to showcase in a garden or a potted plant in a home. It’s also a time for me to go off to the serenity of my workshop and immerse myself so deep that I don’t think of anything else.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your business?

While the massive inventory I’ve collected for the garden art suggests I’ll be making flowers for many decades, I’ll keep doing it as long as it’s still enjoyable and my husband continues relinquish his garage!

Where can people follow and support your business?

I prefer to keep my business fairly low-key. That way I can meet many of my customers in person and see their reactions to the flowers they choose firsthand. I can be reached by text at 780.720.9654 or lorenaf@telus.net I hope to continue to display my work at More Than a Fad Thrift Store—one of the best sources around to purchase affordable supplies for my creations. Hopefully next year COVID-19 will be under control and I’ll be able to get out to more farmer’s markets and other local art shows.

     

    Caption: (Left) Lorena creates one-of-a-kind garden art in her workshop in Edmonton. (Right) Some samples of designs that Lorena has created.