Sunday, November 28, 2021

Coming home to Minnesota

Mothers and daughters have been known to shop together, but a fresh twist on that concept is a mother/daughter team in Owatonna that not only shops together, but they own a shop together. 

The Rustique, a consignment shop owned by Karen Schultz and Tami Krogman, is located at 207 N. Cedar Avenue in Owatonna and is a charming mix of vintage and eclectic in all things from clothing to furniture. 

“Rusty but boutique,” Krogman says with a smile. “It’s just a play on the kind of store we are in that it is vintage and it is also a boutique.” 

Opportunity came without really looking for it, and Schultz and Krogman were the classic example of being in the right place at the right time.

“Mom worked at Old Town Bagel shop next door,” Krogman said in describing the startup. “She heard that the consignment shop next door was closing and she was interested in doing something fun and different. She asked if I would want to get in on it. and so here we are.”

The store opened its doors Oct. 6, 2015, after gathering some items from flea markets and estate sales. Word-of-mouth brought many people into the store with many items that they wanted to place on consignment and now the shop has three full floors of merchandise.    

“Initially we went to flea markets and purchased some things,” Krogman commented. “Then we spread the word and people were bringing in many, many items. We received old furniture, vintage furniture from a lot of people who are downsizing or cleaning out their parents’ home.

“The way it works, is that, for instance, a person will bring in a dresser. We will assign a SKU number and log it into our inventory. We pay out four times per year.”

Krogman and Schultz try to get things that are clean and from nonsmoking homes. When the items come in, they are cleaned and deodorized. If there is a bad smell or unsightly stain that can’t be removed, the owners will not place it in the shop.

Which accounts for the difference between The Rustique and other consignment shops that may smell musty or moldy. Walking into the shop is similar to walking into Grandma’s house with wonderful homey scents and clean and inviting furniture.

Each room in the shop is separated by different living groups. You can go into the kitchen, the bedrooms, the living rooms, the den or office and each is professionally decorated as if you were stepping back in time to an old familiar place. “I have done a lot of home decorating,” Krogman said and continued, “which was not only my job, but my passion.” 

The business currently boasts three stories – packed with treasure. Clothing, purses, scarves, shoes can be found upstairs while home furnishings greet visitors on the main level. There is also an entire basement of overflow home décor items. 

The shop is doing very well, now into its sophomore season. “We love the foot traffic,” Krogman stated. “There are weekly farmer’s markets during the summer, a lunchtime crowd from federated and Wells Fargo, and of course, the bagel shop (Old Town Bagels) right next door. Tom Brick also takes a big initiative to bring people downtown with crazy days and other activities.”

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