BOISE, Idaho — If you're looking for nostalgia, there's a shop in Downtown Boise that caters to people of all ages. Whether you're into Star Trek or Star Wars, Ghost Hunters or Ghostbusters, Harry Potter or Harry and the Hendersons, Re-POP gifts has something that will take you back to another time.
Since the pandemic started, many of us have put several more hours in front of our televisions, growing to love new shows and movies and characters and making new fans in the process. A little shop on North 10th Street is the perfect place to go to show off your fandom.
"Re-POP is Idaho's fandom and pop culture headquarters. We're a shop that has over 40 local artists and lots of fun licensed pop culture merchandise, kind of a mix of both," said Re-POP Gifts Owner Millie Hilgert.
The idea for Re-POP came from the Treasure Valley's prominent art scene mixed with the desire for pop culture.
"I am a local artist myself and started at the Saturday market, and I did that for about ten years and moved my studio into a commercial space, and people would come in and ask is this a store, and after that happening after so many times, I thought well maybe it should be," said Hilgert.
You don't just go to Re-POP to shop...you may up feeling like you're right in the middle of your favorite scene.
"We also specialize in creating prop replicas so that it's an experience and not just a retail store," said Hilgert.
Those props aren't the only art you'll find at Re-POP as the store takes care of its artistic community as well.
"So we have over 40 local Boise-area artists that create pop culture-inspired works of art and merchandise, so those are things you can't really find at other places," said Hilgert.
And if you're around my age... actually, maybe a little older, you may remember this old fortune-teller from random shops around the country.
"Well, it's Idaho's only Zoltar and he will tell your fortune. Just be careful what you ask," said Hilgert.
The pandemic has been a blessing and a curse for Re-POP. They had to close up shop for several weeks, but a lot of hard work gifted them new customers from all over.
"With thousands and thousands of products in the store, I was able to get all of it on to our website and get photos, descriptions, so we do now have e-commerce as well," said Hilgert.
But now that they are open again, this quirky Made in Idaho shop wants to continue letting the entire area know that everyone and anyone is welcome in.
"When you're talking about a fandom or pop culture store, fandom stems from the community, and we're able to be a really safe place for people who are maybe a little bit different than the average person because of what they're into or their orientation. They're able to come here and know that it's someplace that they can geek out and just be a nerd and the community has been really great about that so, they've been really supportive and we've created a place that they can come," said Hilgert.