From a love for working with wood and giving life to reclaimed materials, Dan and Sue of East Quogue turned their hobby into a business with In The Attic Too.
The two originally opened an antique store in 2000. Dan’s older sister – who had always wanted to open one – became ill, so he and Sue were inspired to make her dream come true. Eventually, however, they closed that shop and opened In The Attic Too in Laurel, New York in 2009. In 2016, Dan and Sue opened a second location in Jamesport known as the Red Salvage Barn.
After retiring in 2006, Dan began a hobby of building birdhouses. He and Sue would often use reclaimed materials such as knobs and metal decals to adorn the little homes. The two would occasionally construct a custom reclaimed table. Eventually, Dan started working with cabinetry and refinishing antique items.
In the Attic too generally features vintage furniture from the 1960s and earlier. Dan often rejuvenates old pieces including kitchen islands, bath vanities and more. He said this is specifically what separates their shop from other antique stores, saying that the salvages are “where the real passion is.”
Dan explained that they don’t dramatically change the look of the item, but simply clean it up for further use. Most of the reclaimed pieces have been garnered on the North Fork, sometimes from demolitions.
“We take the old furniture, we fix it and we clean it and we do the painted version of it… which is what we have been specializing in for a long time. You know we run across antiques but we don’t really search out high-end antiques and we haven’t really stumbled upon anything worth tons of money. We take furniture that needs help, give it some help and it gets a new life that way.”
The store also supplies wedding rentals. They convert old doors and other antique items that are re-purposed for use at ceremonies.
In The Attic Too is certainly a family business – Dan and Sue’s daughter, Heather, also lends a hand to the company. She has intermittently helped in the painting department, created their website and networked with other local businesses in order to gain more exposure. Dan’s sister Donna, who originally inspired the opening of their first store, also works in the family business. Dan said one of the goals of In The Attic Too is to provide work opportunities for his loved ones.
In addition to the finished reclaimed pieces, Sue makes soy wax candles that are decorated with some of the store’s old trinkets.
“It makes [them] a little different than your usual candles. Everybody has candles and we were looking to make something different,” Dan said.
Many customers have been returning to their stores for all ten years; Dan revealed he’s on a first-name basis with many of them.
“We have been in the business long enough now and we have such a huge Facebook following that a lot of our customers become family – you know birthday cards, Christmas cards, barbecues.”