Along with his girlfriend and business partner, Lori Miller, Anthony Hinckley aims to run a business that makes a difference. Nowhere to Land opened in November 2012 at 414 E. Seventh St. It carries furniture, vintage items and more. It also has a free library. In May, Hinckley began a community food drive with other local businesses. People who donate at the store are entered into a drawing for a gift basket. The winner will be announced Aug. 1. For more about the shop visit nowheretoland.com.
What does Nowhere to Land mean?
It kind of fits our personalities—we're always kind of moving every couple years. And I think it also fits the store itself. It's just kind of a junk shop where a lot of pieces come in that have nowhere to land until someone buys them.
Do all the pieces and objects that you sell have a back story?
Some of the pieces have back stories because we kind of have to go everywhere to get our stuff, from flea markets and swap meets. We go to thrift stores; we put up ads; we'll tell people we'll come buy their junk. We get a lot of stuff from a lot of people that have moved on and are now, well, dead, basically. So some of the objects or some of the pieces definitely have back stories.
And you have handmade items too?
(Lori Miller) repurposes a lot of furniture. She makes notebooks out of old vintage record covers. She does everything from the magnets to ... book flowers. She'll take old books or old comic books, sheet music, maps, and then she'll turn them into flowers.
Why did you choose to have a free library?
We want to run a business, but we also want to try to uplift the community around us. ... we're both book lovers and we decided that one of the coolest things would be just to ... sell books. But then also have a free library for people in the community who just want to come by, who don't have too much money in their pockets but, you know, want to read a book.
What prompted the summer food drive?
There's 110 businesses (in the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association.) My initial thing was to try to get every single one of the businesses on board and bring in at least 5 pounds of food a month (each). Because then we'd be bringing in over 500 pounds of food a month to the food bank, which I think is pretty freakin' amazing. But it's kind of been slow. May, we did OK. June was a bummer. My goal is to still try and get all the businesses on board with this.
Why do you feel like it's important for businesses to give back to their communities?
It's important for (business owners) to try to lift people up around them because then the whole community prospers. When you have a business, you put yourself in a position where I think you can do a lot more good. You can reach a lot more people. I mean, we can start a food drive out of my front door, but I honestly believe that doing it through a storefront, you're going to get a lot more attention.