Revolving Door is a treasure trove

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Walk through the door — into The Revolving Door — and colors jump out immediately.

Janis Marston-News-Bulletin photo: the Revolving Door Thrift Boutique shop owner Emily Montoya shows off an old, Asian-style metal fish, one of the many unique items in her Los Lunas thrift store.

It is a riot of bright reds, royal blues, emerald greens and that creamy white only old porcelain has. Almost every surface in the store is covered with eye-catching treasures, most of them collected one at a time by shop owner Emily Montoya.

“I’ve hit yard sales all over the state of New Mexico,” said Montoya, who has been collecting her inventory for more than 30 years.

She lived with a lot of it and stored the rest in her garage before opening The Revolving Door Thrift Boutique last summer.

“About 90 percent is mine,” she said. “I’m still getting stuff out of my garage.”

Fine bone china cups pour into old, colored bottles of every shape and size. A heavy, sculpted wooden giraffe’s head surveys sets of Superman napkins and a framed needlepoint still life.

Delicate hummingbird music boxes cozy up to cocktail dresses and cowboy boots.

“There are always treasures to be found,” Montoya says, her face brightening with enthusiasm. “I’ve always shopped thinking someone would want this … I always thought a woman would like that in her home.”

There’s a shiny coffeepot lamp and a blue beveled soup tureen with a cat eating a fish for a handle. There are sets of crock ware, cat plates and winking coffee cups.

“I like old bottles. I like colored glass,” she begins when asked about her inventory.

“And I love pretties,” she says, pointing to a shelf full of knickknacks.

Montoya says she looks for quality and one-of-a-kind finds. She started going to yard sales with her mom when she was a little girl in Las Cruces.

“Mama said I had an eagle eye, that I could always find the best buys.”

Montoya sees her offerings as great gifts or for people starting out, for furnishing a home.

“There’s always a need and demand for good-quality stuff.”

She accepts consignments on furniture and other items, but not clothes. Customers with high-end clothes can trade them for discounts on anything in the store.

And she loves to haggle.

“No price is written in stone,” she says, again smiling. “Haggle with me.”

Montoya, 51, moved to Los Lunas three years ago from northern New Mexico and this is her first business. She was a police officer in Santa Fe and Espanola. It was in 1998, while a cop in Espanola, that she began thinking about starting her own store.

A job as a Valencia County sheriff’s deputy brought her to Los Lunas, but she quit about a year later and finally opened her thrift shop in Bobsons Plaza northwest of the “Y”.

Montoya’s 17-year-old poodle, Brandie greets customers at the door. The two of them come in early, sometimes at 7 a.m. to price items, dust and add a few more treasures from the garage.

The Revolving Door, 3414 N.M. 47, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, she closes at about noon.