Meet the Couple Behind the Vintage Flea Market of ‘Oddities’

  • Ryan Matthew Cohn loves antiques, starting from medical almanacs to terrifying ones.
  • His spouse Regina Kohn is a vogue skilled. They met in 2013 and merged their love of antiques right into a enterprise.
  • Now, Ryan and Regina Kohn run a multi-city flea market that sells spooky antiques.

Pandemic success tales typically contain fast considering. The identical logic applies in industries the place a great deal of the availability chain is actually lifeless.

Since he was 16 years outdated, Ryan Matthew Cohn has curated varied collections utilizing antiques that some would possibly name unusual. His love for area of interest antiques, from medical ephemera to macabre, earned him a spot in New York’s collector neighborhood after which the Discovery/Science Channel actuality present “Audits” from 2010 to 2014.

Since then, Ryan Cohn – alongside together with his life and enterprise companion, Regina Kohn – has launched varied oddity-focused efforts. These efforts embrace the curating Home of Wax, a macabre Brooklyn bar with wax sculptures of 1800s demise masks and different medical research, and The Oddities Flea Market, a multi-city marketplace for oddity lovers.

Ryan Cohn tells Insider he is a lifelong collector with obsessive pursuits. When he was younger, his pursuits prolonged to baseball playing cards, pure historical past, and snakes, and he spent days turning over stumps and stones to look at and acquire specimens.

He remembered considering: “Holy crap, man, you have been gathering all these years. You have been doing it another way.”

Promoting Skulls and a TV Function

Antiques and oddities got here to Kohan’s life as a youngster, receiving his first human cranium at age 16. Historic initially got here from a medical college the place it was used as a research help throughout an period when anatomy was the first research help fairly than digital. Imagery He additionally furthered his artwork schooling.

Quickly, he noticed a chance to mix the 2 passions, which allowed him to promote antiques as items of artwork. He realized that the sale of 1 funded the acquisition of many extra, permitting him to maintain his favorites and promote the remaining.

Ryan Matthews Cohn posing in front of ancient sculptures.

Ryan Matthew Cohn.

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“I believe you understand in some unspecified time in the future as a collector that it’s important to promote issues to maintain issues as a result of in any other case, you are a hoarder,” he stated.

Cohn moved to New York Metropolis on the age of 18. There, he received critical. “I had this complete metropolis that was simply thriving with antiques,” he stated of New York within the early 2000s, rife with retailers, auctions, property gross sales, personal distributors, and lots of occasions every weekend.

Cohn’s work and presence within the metropolis led to the function of “audites” at Downtown Manhattan’s Obscura Antiques & Oddities, and he met his companion, fashion-industry skilled Regina Kohn, in 2013. The 2 shared a ardour for antiques and oddities, typically receiving items on Regina Kohn’s common work journeys to Paris. The enterprise merger helped present the stability, with Ryan Cohn crediting his companion for bringing enterprise acumen to the trouble.

“Regina is certainly a detail-oriented, structured one that handles a number of enterprise,” stated Kohn, who’s the pair’s inventive visionary. He additionally credit them for including female affect to his aesthetic.

Epidemic Pivot

In 2017, the Cohns launched their first Oddities Flea Market, hosted on the now-closed Brooklyn Market—a three-story alt-punk vacation spot for stay music, different exhibits, and flea markets. The sometimes sold-out two-day affair featured quite a lot of operators, internet hosting dozens of distributors who wore all the pieces from vogue and ornate jewellery to puffer fish taxidermy blown up with googly eyes and purple cowboy hats. was bought. Notable visitors reminiscent of Neil Patrick Harris have additionally been noticed.

Ryan Matthews Kohn and Regina Kohn pose in front of antique wall art.

Ryan Matthews Cohn and Regina Kohn.

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Flea markets obtain scores of purposes, which now complete a whole bunch per incident, and are supposed to point out that oddities are greater than a typical place for morbidity.

“It does not should be a lifeless animal or a cranium,” Ryan Cohn stated.

The success of the Brooklyn program promoted seasonal markets, then adopted by exhibits in LA and Chicago. The momentum continued till the pandemic. To maintain the enterprise going, the corporate turned to weekly on-line auctions. Its success made on-line auctions an everyday fixture, returning to month-to-month occasions because the world reopened. The couple attribute the net effort to the file income.

Value of Residing in New York Metropolis Reshapes the Market

The pandemic caused a booming enterprise for Kohns and the antiques sector, however not all the pieces is optimistic, stated Ryan Cohn. After relocating areas to seek out reasonably priced fare, Obscura Antiques & Oddities closed its doorways in 2019, shifting to a totally digital storefront.

Koons additionally felt the pinch. The altering metropolis pressured collectors to go looking outdoors New York Metropolis extra typically than earlier than, and the pandemic highlighted the couple’s want for extra space. Shopping for total estates or museums in a single try, often with lower than two days to resolve whether or not they wished so as to add that a lot to their already stuffed three-story rental residence, sealed the deal. .

“I do not need two items,” stated Ryan Cohn. “I need each single piece, after which we’ll determine what to do later.”

In 2020, the Cohns moved to Connecticut, a 6,000-square-foot residence consisting of two separate on-site buildings that served as cupboard space. The situation supplies a extra central midpoint for his or her Northeast US journeys and New York Metropolis by way of a one-hour prepare experience.

Ryan Kohn, who by no means beforehand thought he would transfer from Brooklyn, is pleased together with his resolution.

“The one factor we’ve got in frequent is house,” he stated.

With extra space and the pandemic offering Kohans their greatest enterprise, the couple is optimistic in regards to the 12 months forward. They anticipate to launch extra flea market occasions in 2022 along with attainable books and a TV deal.

The couple partly attribute their success to being on their ft. Like his strategy to getting round oddities at a second’s discover, Ryan Kohn attributes his fast digital pivot to staying in a snug market place over time and into 2022.

“For those who have been considering fast, you set your online business on-line,” he stated. “For those who weren’t there, it might have been somewhat more durable for you.”

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