There are few places in the world where you can find packaged gold flakes, a raccoon skull, and chocolate-dipped insects in the same room. There are even fewer places in the world where you can shop these oddities and take them home as souvenirs. But believe it or not, these mythical storefronts do exist, and one of them has landed right here in the Mile Square. Enter “The Evolution Store,” a history collectibles retailer that’s been operating out of NYC since 1993, and just opened a few weeks back in Hoboken. Just two weeks ago, The Evolution Store expanded to 106 4th Street in Hoboken, giving its collection of exotic antique items and collectibles a home across the Hudson. Read on to learn more about The Evolution Store, a unique shop that recently opened on 4th Street in Hoboken.
A Familial Evolution
The Evolution Store was founded in 1993 by Bill Stevens, an established artist and early-age collector. Per The Evolution Store’s website, Bill was “bitten by the collecting bug at a young age,” driven by his own natural curiosity about the world and encouraged by “the treasures his father would bring back” from his travels. For years, Bill dedicated much of his time to pursuing art — but in those brief moments of pause, continued curating a collection of eccentric artifacts + antiques.
When Bill opened the shop in 1993, it was with just five boxes of his own personal collection. Eventually, Bill maintained a steady customer base, helping similarly curious New Yorkers discover and acquire items beyond their imagination.
Bill’s daughter, Juliana, was exposed to the mechanics of the shop at a young age and would accompany Bill on his international journeys, developing her own curiosity + passion for historical relics. She graduated from Princeton University and took over the shop in 2015 alongside co-owner Michael da Cunha.
What You’ll Find Inside
In its modern-day, The Evolution Store retails “unique science and natural history collectibles and gifts.” An apt description, these items range from crystals, fossils, and minerals, to exotic animal teeth, taxidermies, and beyond. Many of the larger items are attached to display stands or inside frames so that they double as decor.
But aside from what’s in-house, The Evolution Store staff is willing to “go to the ends of the Earth… to fulfill special orders.” The shop has a network of over 200 vendors from which it sources specialty items. The Evolution Store also has its fabrication department in the Catskills Mountains (hi, @thecatskillsgirl), where professional artists and scientists prepare entomological specimens, skeletal articulations, and taxidermy displays.
Given the obscure nature of the shop’s collection (see the list above), prices at The Evolution Store can land anywhere from $15 to over $1000. The kitschier, secret Santa-esque gifts like the aforementioned chocolate-dipped insects usually wade below $10, while large-scale items are largely dependent on rarity and quality.
The Evolution Store’s Hoboken location is open 12PM – 7PM every day at 106 4th Street. We popped in recently to check it out and can confirm: whether you’re a collector or not, you will leave The Evolution Store knowing more than when you entered.