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Business expands to Ottertail

The new Periwinkle Marketplace is located just south of the railroad tracks in Ottertail in the building which used to house Carr’s Marine. Lina Belar/FOCUS1 / 2
A variety of clothing and merchandise can be found at Periwinkle Marketplace, Inc. Lina Belar/FOCUS 2 / 2

Stephanie Ellingson has always loved retail. As a kid, she and her sister would help their parents sell Christmas trees in the winter and fireworks in summer. She grew up around retail. With her new location in Ottertail, Periwinkle Marketplace is just another logical step in the life of this entrepreneur.

Born in Wahpeton, N.D., Ellingson earned a degree in marketing from the North Dakota School of Science. She started her first business, Periwinkle Place, in Fergus Falls in 2000, selling new and vintage items.

About five years later, Ellingson moved to Perham and opened a location here. She also had a painting and decorating business, which kept her schedule packed. Despite being busy, in 2012, she opened another store in Ottertail.

For the past few years, Ellingson had been looking for a place that she could also use as a workshop. When the former Carr’s Marine building became available, she couldn’t resist.

It’s a massive space, more 20,000 square feet, but Stephanie has enough ideas to fill it to the brim. She sees the store as a pre-lake destination, carrying new merchandise with some intriguing home décor and older, colorfully painted furniture.

Clothing is in the north end of the building, making it easy for clothes lovers to dash in for a quick look around. The main entrance is in the middle, and hosts a variety of vintage furniture, lake décor, and novelty gifts.

As the business has expanded, Ellingson has hired a full-time painter for the decorating business and expects to hire several full and part-time employees for the retail business.

Until summer, the store will be open Friday through Sunday. Ellingson plans to have extended hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day.