In quiet downtown Greeley there sits a store that is a bit different from most other businesses. The Strange and Unusual is owned by Colorado natives Corri and Chase Mehan, who call it an oddity and “weird stuff” store. They have been open since February and claim to be the only store of its kind in Northern Colorado. The store offers tarot readings on Fridays and Saturdays and started the Greeley Ghost Tour.
The Mehans opened their oddities store when Corri Mehan, a former stay-at-home mom, decided to make art for side money. She started out making terrariums with objects like animal skulls, dead bugs, crystals and many other things. She had success selling these at art shows with her friend, so she decided to open The Strange and Unusual with her husband.
The store’s products range from taxidermy animals to true crime memorabilia. The Mehans find usual objects from all over Colorado. They source items from estate sales, donations and even found items on the side of the road. Both have a keen eye for vintage and rare oddity items. There are also artists, including Corri Mehan, who sell their art in their store.
This type of art got the couple into the world of oddities. Corri’s favorite things to make currently are wall hangings that combine animal bones with floral elements. She gets the animal bones under contract from local taxidermists, Rick and Dan,who didn’t give last names. They process the animals with a beetle colony that eats almost everything off the animal’s skeleton. Rick gets the animals from doing pest control jobs. Corri Mehan likes using the animals that were not going to be of use to anyone and giving them a new life through her art.
“I like the bones and I’m a perfectionist in the way of ‘I don’t think I could ever paint and draw like I really want,’” Corri Mehan said. “But I can glue stuff together really good. I kind of like how that art kind of comes together in its imperfect way.”
The animal bones she receives are easier to work with than human bones. She doesn’t do much with the human bones, but the animal bones have a story of their own. They sell most of the human bones as-is but use the animal bones for art projects.
Some of Corri Mehan’s favorite objects to sell are her own art, but she also loves to sell funny taxidermy animals that have weird poses or are dressed up in costumes.
“The biggest, toughest looking men walk by,” Corri Mehan said. “They see those animal faces and just melt like butter.”
Other customers coming into the store have other interests. Lots of people are into crystals and the supposed healing or protecting properties associated with each crystal. Some also look for specific objects to add to their own collections of oddities.
“I collect a lot of random stuff like pentacles, tarot cards, rocks and anything dark I guess,” said customer Gerlynn Archiveque.
Archiveque was attracted to the shop because of the different dark objects they sell and its dark but welcoming aesthetic. She has an affinity for Halloween and has liked scary movies since she was a kid.
To see some weird objects or to add to your collection, visit The Strange and Unusual at 906 9th Ave. The store is open from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.