This is a story about the collaboration of a new creative gathering space that supports many small businesses and showcases handmade goods.
It's also a story of three women who are passionate about enriching the lives of local residents and surrounding communities.
Welcome to Locally Sourced LLC, a new business at 214 Central Ave, downtown Osakis. It was opened by Jessi Bouldin, Noelle Koskela, and Sarah Kluver.
Bouldin, a full-time teacher in Osakis, and owner/operator or Bare Roots Farm, a completely green operation, is the lead education coordinator. Her goal is to bring different classes and educational conferences to the community. Her dream stems from learning to live green, pursuing her own healthful living, and working with mental health within the community.
Koskela, an Osakis graduate and Army veteran, is the retail coordinator. Her dream stems from restoring antiques, family heirlooms, as well as repurposing pieces. She is in constant search of all things handmade or eclectic so that she can continue to bring a wide variety of unique items to Osakis. Her goal is to offer art and other events with veterans.
Kluver, formerly a stylist at Fringe, and current vice president of the Osakis Chamber, is a 10-year resident of Osakis. She is the business and networking coordinator, making sure the environment at Locally Sourced is enjoyable for their guest and functional for all of their vendors. Kluver's dreams stem from her many travels, life experiences, and raising a dynamic family. Her goal is to leave a positive footprint and support the community she lives in.
Together, the women wanted to enrich the community through arts, crafts, and education.
After traveling around, visiting other cities and small towns, as well as listening to community members, they realized "Osakis was missing something," Kluver said, "and we wanted to give back."
With online sales and big box stores, it's difficult for some brick and mortar businesses to stay open. Locally Sourced provides a store front for 15 small businesses and is always welcoming more. Currently all but one of its vendors are from within a 10-mile radius of Osakis. Vendors keep 100 percent of their profit.
The women volunteer their time to help keep their dreams of being a business alive. "It's not about becoming rich, it is about helping out the community we live in," Koskela said.
Their goal is to find people who are passionate about their craft, and share that with the community. Sewing, soap making, painting, looming, woodworking and pottery are just a few of the store's current specialties.
The business also carries clothing, hand bags, accessories, home décor, as well as offering music therapy and student tutoring. It will be offering community enrichment classes on a plethora of topics.
There is also space for private events such as birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers and the women encourage people to use the space for support groups.
"We all have to live together," Bouldin said. "Let's enrich each other's lives."
To stay up to date with Locally Sourced, check the store out on Facebook and Instagram. Bouldin, Koskela and Kluver also encourage residents, organizations, and businesses to share their ideas, topics and offer feedback. Send all emails to email@example.com.
Locally Sourced is having a grand opening this weekend, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and June 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be drawings for vendor-donated giveaways and live music by Mikko and Friends.