Jenny Miller, owner of the new Lost & Found on 2428 W. Overland Road in the Bench neighborhood has really eclectic and colorful taste. You can tell because her store is a visual delight packed with vintage clothes, craft supplies and handmade products.
"I was doing Saturday markets and I've always been an avid thrifter, it's just how I grew up," said Miller. "I always liked standing apart even if I was made fun of. This shop is based on the kind of stores I seek out when I travel. It's the culmination of all my side hustles in one place."
Lost & Found opened on April 7 and it's open Wednesday thru Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Miller said she's still working on getting a website up but people can follow the store on Instagram @lostandfound208. The page has almost daily updated posts and shows the shop's new inventory that changes every week. Miller also said she'll be keeping the prices fair because she's always loved treasure hunting — and nothing is more daunting than a huge price tag on something at the thrift store.
The shop carries a lot of different goods and is reminiscent of Bricolage and Maven, two other similar shops that have since closed. Lost & Found has vintage clothes, kitchen items, handbags and jewelry but it also carries a lot of different handmade gifts like keychains, books, cards and linen, and has an entire corner dedicated to DIY crafting. For people who macramé the shop might be especially interesting because it carries the cord used and Miller said it can't be found anywhere else in the city.
The reason Miller decided to go all in and get a storefront is because she and her husband were priced out of buying a home.
"I grew up here and went to Borah High," said Miller. "We can't afford to buy a house here anymore; we both also work in the service industry, and even if we spent our whole life savings we couldn't do it. I'd always wanted this and it was something I kept putting off, like 'I'll do this later,' so we decided to do it and use a little of our savings to make our mark and stay in the city we love. It feels good to be back on the Bench, right where I started."
Miller had started her own textile-based jewelry business called Japricorn in 2006. Her jewelry is sold in a number of other shops around town: Zero Six Coffee, Re-Pop Gifts, Mixed Greens and all three Flying M's — but Lost & Found carries the biggest collection.
For all those people who picked up some kind of crafting bug during the pandemic, or those looking to start, the Lost & Found crafting nook has got you covered. Not only is there a selection of embroidery and yarns, Miller has also partnered with Lost Little Things, a new store opening later this month in Caldwell owned by Tara Dial, and selling mini loom kits. Lost Little Things makes the loom kits and Lost & Found supplies the fiber packs with enough for two projects.
"I know a lot of friends who started picking up different crafting projects during the pandemic and what's great is I have experience in the craft world and I can help people," said Miller. "I want the shop to be a healthy mix of local and beyond and I'm trying to cater to those who appreciate hand-crafted and vintage style. People started to pick up these hobbies in lockdown and it's a great way to pass time."
The shop also has embroidery kits and kits for something called visible mending. The idea is something similar to the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery called Kintsugi, translated as golden joinery. Considered to be representative of a kind of philosophy called wabi-sabi, to embrace flaws or imperfections, Kintsugi is mending broken pottery with lacquer infused with gold or silver powder. The idea is that the history of an object, even its flaws, are the things that make it special. Visible mending runs along the same lines and is a really aesthetically pleasing way to repair textiles.
"It's a really neat way to extend the life of clothing, you can use contrasting fabric or thread and it adds personality while acknowledging that a flaw can also be beautiful."
Beyond all of the products, Miller is looking to add classes or craft nights in the future where people can get together and learn to make different crafts. She really enjoys all of it and is excited about creating more of a community.
"The Bench is up and coming," said Miller, "and seeing it come alive with more and more stores is cool — and it's exciting, you know, coming back to your childhood haunt. There was no perfect time to do it; it was just a perfect storm of situations. It was time to start and I'm finally doing what I want."