Fort Collins Best Kept Secret, Little Boxes Vintage, is a Home for Old Treasures

Just on the edge of Jefferson Street is a small store with an unassuming sign, but what
is on the inside is a trip through history. Little Boxes is owned by Jimmy Richter and was
opened in March of 2013.

Jimmy has always had an interest in antiques.
His wife’s grandparents were antique dealers
in Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio.
When her grandpa saw that Richter was
interested in antiques, he started to give him
boxes of random vintage items and asked him to
report on the contents of the boxes.
Jimmy started off by doing research for his wife’s
grandpa and working antique shows, and then he
eventually opened up his storefront here in Fort
Collins where he specializes in vinyl and vintage
signs.
“The research part is what hooked me. It is such a
beautiful process,” Richter said.
He enjoys looking through trade books and
copyright books for tough to find antiques. In all his
years of researching antiques, there has only been
one item that has stumped him.
“There were these two turn of the century ice
cream scoops that I had no idea what they were.
They were cone shaped, super weird. They had no
markings and it was driving me crazy.”
The research process can take from a few hours
to a few days. It helps to know a lot of people in this
business that are specialists on different things.
“Funny enough, in this line of work you start
collecting people, like specialists in other areas. The
goal is to know a little bit about a lot of things…you
trade information and it is kind of a blast.”
Just spending a minute in his shop you can tell
that Jimmy loves what he does.
“This is the oldest
thing in my shop,”
Jimmy says as he pulls
out Celtic ring money.
While he was telling
the story his eyes lit up
with joy to have such
an interesting piece of
history.
Although most
of the customers
are good friends of
Jimmy’s, he makes you
feel right at home in Little Boxes.
“I come for the vinyl and customer service,” Ted
Schnyder said. “It is very personable.”
Being a storeowner in Fort Collins can be a little
tough, but he finds that it is best to have a small
group of other business owner friends to help each
other out.
“We all kind of hang out together and help
each other out; we send each other customers
constantly. It is a wonderful mash up of random
businesses.”
The antiques in his store come from many
different places but his favorite is doing private
appointments for estate sales.
“Private appointments are my favorite because
I am the first man in,” he said. “Nine times out of
ten, I will forget my fee and try and make a deal on a
piece that I like.”
There are a lot of things that come and go
through this shop, but Jimmy’s all time favorite
piece is an original print from the Tonnesen sisters,
turn of the century photographers, that he found in
a barn in Berthoud. He
originally bought it for
the frame and soon
fell in love with the
photo and the story
behind it.
“When I did
the research I was
hooked. It’s stuff like
that where you get
to do research and
you’re like ‘holy crap
the story behind this
is unbelievable.’”
The store is located on 213 Jefferson Street, open
Wednesday through Saturday from 12 pm to 7 pm
and on Sunday from 12 pm to 4pm, stop by and take
a tour through history.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply