By Derrick Knutson
Walk into Gallery on Main in North Branch and instantly a person’s eyes fall upon an assortment of antiques, toys, clothing, tools and other goods.
There is certainly a myriad of items to be found in this store – right next to North Branch Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing – and that’s just how owner Wendy Teich likes it.
“We sell almost anything,” she said. “We had one lady who walked in here and she said she thought we leaned more toward antiques, and that may be what our shelves are holding more of right now, but that all changes with different vendors and consigners.”
Teich and Core Vendor Kate Hull scour the county, looking for various merchandise to buy and then resell in their store, which just opened in April.
“We search for deals of our own, and then pass that along to other people and give them a deal,” Teich said.
Being part consignment shop also allows them to offer some fairly unique wares.
“I had a guy come in the other day and sell me a mounted fish,” Teich said with a laugh.
For those unfamiliar with the consignment process, it’s when a private seller approaches a store, such as Teich’s, and asks to sell his or her goods at the building.
The store owner and the seller then come to an agreement on a price to be paid for the service of allowing the seller to use store space to vend the merchandise.
A family business
Teich’s two boys, 14-year-old Ryan and 18-year-old Travis, help out with the business, and even have official titles and business cards.
“Ryan’s card says, “assistant manager” and Travis’s says, “field support,” Teich said, adding, “Travis helps do all of the grunt work.”
Teich said she choose North Branch to open the store – her first attempt at small business ownership – because of her ties with the community and her general appreciation for the city.
“I live in Rush City and my kids go to North Branch schools,” she said. “I also drive through here just about every day on my way to work in Wyoming.”
She added that she worked for the North Branch School District for five years, so she got to know the area more thoroughly through that experience.
“It’s a pretty nice place,” Hull said of the city.
In addition to the thrift and consignment areas of the store, Gallery on Main also offers a “workshop” section toward the back of the building.
In that area, customers can come in and work on various projects.
“We’re hoping to do more crafting,” Teich said. “In the fall we’re going to have quilting and crocheting. As we get some works done we want to display them more around the store. It will definitely evolve and change.”
Hull added that if people want, they could sell the handmade items at the store through consignment.
“You don’t have a whole lot of places around here that have everything under one roof,” she said.