By Ashley McCallum
The Janesville Gazette, Wis.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) During a trip to Colorado with friends after high school, Mitzi Lukowski discovered that her “truth” was in thrift shopping. When she returned home at age 19, she bought out a couple estates and used the purchases to stock her new business, “Miss Kitty’s Litterbox.” Her business includes collections of vintage furniture, decor, clothing, jewelry, toys and textiles
Mitzi Lukowski believes antique shoppers are not as hungry as they used to be.
With the increased popularity of online shopping, Lukowski thinks people don’t know about the personal connections that can be found in an antique show.
The 30-something, self-proclaimed sentimental sap and owner of Miss Kitty’s Litterbox in Janesville encourages people to explore for vintage items and “keep the nostalgia alive.”
Lukowski will display a vintage cowboy collection of toys, home goods and clothing at the Annual Mid-Winter Antique Show on Jan. 6-7.
“Mitzi is young, bubbly and full of energy,” said Steve Bina, manager of the antique show, in an email to The Gazette. “As antique dealers age, we find very few younger people entering the business, so she is a hard-to-find exception.”
Lukowski considers herself ageless, she said. She often forgets how old she is because she can relate to people of any age.
It is important to connect with people of the next generation because otherwise nobody will be around to pass the torch, Lukowski said. She gets excited to see young people interested in her pieces.
Lukowski collected her first set of antique toys when she was 4 years old, she said. Her mother, Natalie Carrol, and Natalie’s twin brother, Daniel, shared with her their passion for collecting.
At 14, Lukowski won an 1800s coat at an auction for $5, she said. It is one of few items she refuses to part with.
“I think it’s stunning. I have always been a very sentimental person,” Lukowski said.