The Willowbrook Emporium was added to Hillsdale’s downtown in July. The owners, Robert and Susan Cline, spent two months renovating the store’s interior before opening the flooring outlet and antique shop at 92 North Broad Street.
The Willowbrook Emporium is a satellite location for its original storefront in Coldwater, Mich., which has offered flooring and decorating options for both newer and older homes for more than 25 years.
What is unique about the new location, however, is its antique shop, which occupies the left side of the store.
Antiques have been Robert’s passion for more than 30 years, and after a life full of collecting, he is finally able to share his passion.
“I’m getting to the age where I want to start passing this on, and I want people to understand it,” he said.
Susan and Robert’s antiques come from a variety of states across the United States, such as Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, and Georgia.
From piles of once abundant “Depression plates,” made in mass production at minimal cost in the 1930s, to the impressive antique furniture which command attention at the front of the room, the store’s selection ranges from the tiniest trinkets to the undoubtedly robust.
For instance, towards the back of the room, perched nonchalantly on the wall, is a mounted zebra head, accompanied by a few other eye-catching taxidermies. Another unique feature of the store’s collection can be found in the eerily iridescent “Uranium glass,” at the far right. Made in the 1890s through the 1950s, these pieces glow with a faint green shine under the black-lights hovering at the top of their display cases.
“It’s stuff like this you don’t find anymore,” store manager Derrick Himebaugh said.
Most antiques are Victorian-style originals from the 1750s to the 1950s, and every one is hand selected by Robert and Susan to meet what Robert views to be the “quality that Hillsdale’s homes demand.”
The Willowbrook Emporium is open from 9 a.m‑5 p.m Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m‑1 p.m on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.