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A fun retail experience in Ottertail

Rusty Anchor Trading Company in Ottertail now has ‘The Shed’

By Carol Stender

Rusty Anchor is owned and operated by Stephanie Dykhoff (below), who also owns Periwinkle Marketplace in Ottertail and The Bric in Fergus Falls. Photo by Carol Stender

Rusty Anchor Trading Company in Ottertail is offering something new to customers this year. The store, known for its line of souvenirs, home décor, gifts and clothing, is now adding plants and fun gifts for the garden. Check out the store’s new addition called “The Shed,” which opened May 1. The Shed is an actual shed located near the store’s side door. Customers can browse through a variety of garden accessories including decorative stepping stones, garden figurines, garden stakes and fun signs. Plus, they will have a greenhouse filled with hanging baskets and annuals. Besides the traditional garden gnomes, check out the cute frog figurines. Got a “she shed?” There’s a sign for that plus many others that tell the story of lake life and gardens.

The Rusty Anchor Trading Company has decorative candles to set a peaceful mood in the backyard plus pots and garden stakes with decorative tops.

As owner Stephanie Dykhoff said, there’s something for everyone in the family.

The Rusty Anchor Trading Company opened May of 2020 and has a following of local residents and tourists to the lakes area.

“We want everyone to come in and enjoy,” said Dykhoff. “We want them to have a fun experience!”

The store features consignment items from local artisans plus clothing. What clothing defines a Minnesota outdoor adventure? It might be a plaid shirt or maybe a hoodie? This store has great variety of colors and sizes available.

Have a child in need of interesting toys and apparel? The Rusty Anchor Trading Company has it, including fun kids shirts that talk about a “crappie” attitude along with other fun novelty sayings.

The store is truly a labor of love for Dykhoff, who grew up in retail.

“My parents had a fireworks stand and they sold Christmas trees in the holiday season, too,” she said. “I definitely got my work ethic and business interests from my parents.”

Shoppers check out the gift items at Rusty Anchor Trading Company. Photo by Carol Stender.

Dykhoff loves a good tourist shop when she’s on vacation. When she was young, Dykhoff would tell her parents that she wanted to have a tourist store one day. Her stores offers her the opportunity to do all things she has a passion for, she said. She works in a tourist area, sells clothing and is able to decorate the store whenever she wants.

“It’s everything I have always loved…that’s what I am doing,” She said. “I don’t consider my job work. It’s fun!”

Her enthusiasm for her work is evident in the three businesses she owns and operates. It started in 2000 with Periwinkle Place, Inc in Ottertail. Dykhoff and her mother Machelle started the business together 22 years ago.

Roughly 15 years later, she opened The Bric, located in Fergus Falls. The business answered the town’s need for a women's clothing store in downtown. As Target and Herbergers were closing their doors in Fergus Falls, The Bric was expanding into their lower level. The store, which has a great selection of women’s clothing plus accessories, shoes and home decor, added baby items, giftables and a more home decor.

Her retail dreams hit a bump when Periwinkle Marketplace was destroyed by fire in 2018.

There were no injuries, but the building was a total loss as well as the merchandise, a few vehicles and many vendors items too.

“When we received our insurance money, we knew that we didn’t want to spend it on all on one building so we used the money for the same purpose and we did two buildings instead of one.” said Dykhoff.

They rebuilt Periwinkle Marketplace in the same location and purchased a property at 227 West Main in Ottertail where they created The Rusty Anchor Trading Company.

Periwinkle Marketplace continues its line of clothing and décor, but has added kitchen items, candy and specialty soda pops plus a party room.

The Rusty Anchor Trading Company is located at 227 W Main St Ottertail and includes a variety of retail items for purchase including home decor, gifts, clothing and more. pictured above is the front of the store, along its newest addition, “The Shed,” which just opened May 1. Photo by Carol Stender

“Before the fire Periwinkle had a lot of vintage items and with the new store everything purchased was new,” she added.” We still use vintage home décor for our displays. We love how that adds to the ambiance of the store”

The Rusty Anchor Trading Company’s ambiance is more rustic and earthy, she said. And it has unique home décor, consignment items from local artisans plus now a garden area.

Even though the store opened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Rusty Anchor Trading Company and all of Dykhoff’s businesses fared very well.

“Everyone left the Twin Cities and went to the lakes,” she said. “Those who could work from home came to their lake place. They felt comfortable to come here where there were less people. We had a phenomenal year in 2020 and a phenomenal year in 2021.”

She is super grateful for her continued success.

The Rusty Anchor is open seven days a week from April to December from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Shed is open the same hours, but from May 1 to Labor Day.

This is a paid business profile. If you would like to learn more about promoting your business in the Sr. Perspective with a business profile, call Jim at 320-334-3344.

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