WALNUT GROVE - For the last four years, the store Junk With Purpose has been a bit of a destination spot on U.S. Highway 14 in Walnut Grove.
"The name of the store actually pulls people in," Pam Steffen said.
Amy Koblegard had started Jossie's Photography several years ago in a building along U.S. Highway 14 in Walnut Grove. She said she wanted to start a shop because she had all the space.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Junk With Purpose, a store that features one-of-a-kind finds, furniture and decorative items, has been in Walnut Grove for the last four years. On average, the place sells up to 50 pieces of furniture a month.
Then Steffen, who had Weekend Innovations in Walnut Grove, and Gayle Erickson, who had Cottage Corner in Lamberton, came on board, along with Koblegard's mother, Kay, to start Junk with Purpose four years ago.
"We all kind of collaborated," Koblegard said.
Steffen said they are all sole proprietors in Junk With Purpose.
"We all buy our own product and mix it all up," Steffen said.
Junk With Purpose has a variety of items, Koblegard said.
"We have old, new, repurposed," Koblegard said. "We have furniture, we have decorating, we have jewelry. We have tons of yarn."
"We have knitters who come in every Thursday and have their knitting club," Koblegard added.
Koblegard said the proprietors find items at various places - auctions, sales, and other means.
"Between the four of us, we're always looking someplace," Koblegard said. "We have new stuff in weekly, sometimes daily."
"The store does change every week," Steffen said. She said when you sell furniture on a regular basis, it forces you to change the displays.
Koblegard said they try to keep the prices at Junk With Purpose really reasonable.
"Most people are in love with it and wish they brought a trailer," Koblegard said.
Word-of-mouth has been one of the best advertisements for the store, Steffen said, as well as Junk With Purpose's Facebook page. Steffen said there are almost 4,000 followers on the shop's Facebook page.
Steffen said they keep a notebook on how many pieces of furniture the store sells. The average is about 50 pieces of furniture a month. She said she may post a photo of an item that had recently arrived in the store, and someone will buy it right away.
"We try to find a lot of 'one-of-a-kinds,'" Steffen said.
And people will come from all over to browse through the furniture, decorative items and gifts. Bookshelves made from old doors is one the "good sellers," Steffen said.
"We have people who will travel four hours who will come to our store," Koblegard said.
Every June, the store has its annual "Junk'n In June," where vendors come in and set up in the parking lot.
"We fill up the parking lots of the next few businesses over," Koblegard said of the June event.
In Walnut Grove, all of the businesses work together, Steffen said, as there's a retail committee that's part of the city's community club.
"We promote together, we do events together," Steffen said.