The surprisingly cute taxidermy shop in Reno (& other quirky stores)

The surprisingly cute taxidermy shop in Reno (& other quirky stores)

Photo courtesy of Natural Selection via Facebook.

By Aleza Freeman

March 3, 2024

Nevada is an enigmatic place with a colorful history (and it’s not just because of the neon signs). It’s a rich tapestry of cowboys, casinos, and cacti; small towns, ghost towns, and bustling downtowns.

In Reno, the Silver State’s independent spirit shines bright at its locally-owned businesses — especially the quirky ones, like a surprisingly Instagrammable taxidermy shop, where deceased animals are anything but stiff or stuffy. 

The store, Natural Selection, has captured hearts by epitomizing the bizarre and beautiful in the Biggest Little City for a decade. Located at 39 Saint Lawrence Ave. in Midtown Reno, this odd shop sells items ranging from rare succulents to a mounted brown goat head (horns, fur, and eyeballs included).

It seems to be a labor of love for its owners, mother and daughter team Emily and Marcy Felch. Every plant is hand-picked from select nurseries by Mary and every animal product is ethically sourced by Emily, who is a taxidermist. The respect they show for their merchandise is a testament to their passion for nature.

So, if you’re in the market for a giraffe foot, framed insects, a speckled pigeon, and some plant food or you simply feel like browsing and snapping photos of carcasses and other curiosities, Natural Selection is an only-in-Nevada stop that’s well worth a visit.

But if that’s not the right kind of quirk for your kink, here are some other odd shops in Reno worth checking out.

Reno Magick

1004 S. Wells Ave.

Calling all witches, wiccans, pagans, and other free thinkers: You can find the tools to transcend the ego and connect with the divine mind at a store in the Silver State. Reno Magick provides experienced and novice practitioners with decades of magickal expertise and merchandise like candles, herbs, oils, crystals, woodcraft items, tarot decks, crystal balls, incense, and books.

To learn more about or get involved in magick practice, the store holds classes, rituals, and events at a friendly magick temple next door.

The Surprisingly Cute Taxidermy Shop In Reno (& Other Quirky Stores)

Photo courtesy of Reno Magick.

Nerdvana

3961 South McCraen Boulevard

A hobby shop for self-professed nerds, geeks, and dorks, Nerdvana has been selling a wide variety of games and hosting gameplay in Reno since 2018. Board games, tabletop games, collectible card games — Nerdvana has it all, plus demo copies of games to play in the store for free. Manga and anime your thing? Nerdvana has that too.

Whether it’s your first time buying Pokemon cards or you’re an expert at Magic The Gathering, this is the perfect spot to satisfy your gaming needs.

The Freckled Frog

13925 South Virginia Street #204

With antiques, home furnishings, accessories, and odd gifts, The Freckled Frog carries on the legacy of a similar store that the owners, Michael and Sue Murphy, were once associated with in California. It even has the original stained glass window of a dancing frog. The store itself carries everything from soaps and lotions to silk flowers and handcrafted art. You can casually stroll past the curated displays while soaking in the friendly atmosphere.

The owners’ goal is to cater to those who prefer small locally-owned businesses to national chain stores. Don’t be surprised if you go in to buy a quirky gift for a friend and leave with La Rochere Glassware or an antique table for your home.

Sierra Water Gardens

2055 Dickerson Road

From plants of all sizes to locally-made ceramic pottery, Sierra Water Gardens is a boutique nursery on the Truckee Riverfront blooming with exceptional flowers and foliage. Owner Samantha Stemmel runs the store while her husband, Sutter, runs workshops, classes, and art shows at the Wedge Ceramics Studio across the street.

Originally a pop-up plant shop, and now a permanent indoor store, Sierra Water Gardens carries succulents, air plants, fiddle leaf trees, monstera, cacti, and seasonal finds, plus the one-of-a-kind pots to keep them in. It’s a one-stop shop for all your unique planting needs.

Photo courtesy of Sierra Water Gardens via Instagram.

Biggest Little Fashion Truck

Various locations in Reno

Putting a fun twist on fashion finds, the Biggest Little Fashion Truck delivers trendy clothing and accessories all over the Biggest Little City. When you walk away from this family-owned and operated boutique on wheels, you leave with hats, purses, and dresses instead of the usual truck fare like tacos, burgers, or pizza.

Look for the Biggest Little Fashion Truck at pop-up events or, better yet, book a private party. Why browse through rack after rack of stale styles when the latest fashion comes to you? 

The Surprisingly Cute Taxidermy Shop In Reno (& Other Quirky Stores)

Photo courtesy of Biggest Little Fashion Truck via Facebook

Grassroots Books

660 E. Grove Street

In an age when reading is losing its cache and bookstores are practically an endangered species, Grassroots Books carries more than 40,000 books at bargain prices, plus toys and gifts for less than $5. The inventory is always evolving and the prices are low, with some books sold for up to 90 percent off the list price.

Grab a copy of your favorite novel for $1 or fill a grocery-size bag with books for $5 at one of the store’s outdoor sales. Have a box of books, movies, music, or video games you no longer want? The store will pay cash, though donations are also welcome.

The Melting Pot Emporium & Smoke Shop

1049 S. Virginia Street 

With clothing from as far away as India, Nepal, Thailand, and Bali, and as close as Reno, Melting Pot Emorium is an innovative boutique that celebrates cultural diversity, individual style, and indie design. It’s also a fully-stocked smoke shop for shoppers who are 21 and over. Owned and operated by husband and wife Eric and Monique Baron since 1994, the Melting Pot carries an array of eclectic styles from around the world along with jewelry, art, home decor, and accessories.

If you’re looking for an outfit for Buring Man, the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), or another funky festival, this is the place to go. You’re sure to score a fuzzy fanny pack, LED cowboy hat, and a neon utility kilt for storing your festival paraphernalia (whatever that may be).

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.The surprisingly cute taxidermy shop in Reno (& other quirky stores)The surprisingly cute taxidermy shop in Reno (& other quirky stores)

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

CATEGORIES: LOCAL BUSINESS
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