Not many stores boast a two-headed calf, vintage paint-by-number Jesus paintings and Masonic Temple medals, but Afterlife Antiques and Oddities is not a typical store.
Owner Nicole O’Connor is skilled at hunting for unique and memorable artifacts for her oddities store, a tiny shop she describes as “packed with everything you never knew you wanted.”
Afterlife Antiques’ inventory focuses on taxidermy, medical antiques, Masonic collectibles and unusual home décor. Odd taxidermy holds a special appeal to O’Connor.
“I’m always on the lookout for interesting and unusual taxidermy,” she said. “I’m currently searching for a piece that can replace the two-headed calf displayed behind the counter — he’s from 1934 and was born in Wisconsin, so it holds a special place in my heart!”
O’Connor divides her time between Afterlife and her career as a digital laboratory assistant at the Wisconsin Historical Society, where she’s worked for 10 years.
“My job has played a big role in increasing my appreciation for the stories behind antique objects,” she said. “Looking at photographs at WHS is a great reminder that the items I sell at Afterlife were once really important to someone. One of the most exciting parts of the job is finding someone who’ll appreciate their purchase as much as its original owner did.”