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'This all started in my she-shed': Sisters Grain Bin in Ottertail grows into new location

Sisters Grain Bin in Ottertail has relocated, after outgrowing their old space almost as soon as they moved in, according to owners (and sisters) Kris Wallgren and Karla Kupfer.

Sisters Grain Bin in Ottertail opened at their new location, 235 Main St. West on November 11. (Kim Brasel /FOCUS)
Sisters Grain Bin in Ottertail opened at their new location, 235 Main St. West on November 11. (Kim Brasel /FOCUS)

Sisters Grain Bin in Ottertail has relocated, after outgrowing their old space almost as soon as they moved in, according to owners (and sisters) Kris Wallgren and Karla Kupfer.

Formerly in the Ottertail minimall, they are now at 235 Main St. West in what was a bar and grill. The sisters opened their new digs on their one-year anniversary, Nov. 11. As if opening a new store wasn't enough, they also expanded to the boutique store, P.S. I Love You, in Perham, where they will have a small booth.

"This all started in my she-shed," said Wallgren. "I redid a shed in my backyard, and after we got it done, I did some occasional sales there. After I did four sales in a year-and-half, then I started selling my items at Periwinkle for the summer, and next thing I knew we had outgrown that spot."

After that, the sisters decided to rent a spot in the Ottertail minimall selling antiques, vintage furniture, clothing and jewelry. But, just like the she-shed, they also quickly outgrew that spot.

The women had dreamed of owning their own store ever since a cousin had her own shop, and they decided they wanted to own their own shop so they could take it to another level.

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Karla was a gift shop manager, and she said Kris used to help her buy for that store. Karla has since quit that job, but Kris still works as an RN, and they take turns working in their store.

Their current location has more floor space for merchandise and storage. It used to be a bar and grill, but there's not a hint of that now. They completely remodeled to reflect their style, decorating the store with shiplap and rusty tin. Then there's the hog feeder out front. It's their trademark.

"We actually had someone we buy junk from who brought it to us. He told us he had something he thought we might like," Kupfer said. "It fits our grain bin look. We've had offers to buy it, but it's our signature piece; it fits the tin look."

Their inventory consists of a combination of new and used clothing, jewelry and home decor, in addition to some select consignment items, repurposed furniture and pottery, according to Karla.

"We like combining the old and the new," they said. "It's a popular trend."

It's also a reflection of their individual tastes and a reason why they work well together. Not something all siblings could do.

"I think she has a better eye for new, and I have a better eye for old...the passion for it," Karla said. "I really like the vintage. She likes to go with the trends, so it's a great combination."

The sisters agree that the fun of owning their shop is the freedom to be creative, carry the merchandise that they feel their customers want, and the flexibility with hours.

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Karla said their current hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. After Christmas, the hours will be more limited. In the summer the store will be open full time, six days a week starting May 1. There will also be a coffee bar in the summer with outdoor seating, and an indoor sitting area with books for purchase.

They are often asked what it's like to work with your sister, and the women laugh when they talk about their differences, but feel that their similarities are what make working together click.

"We are on the same page when it comes to the store," Karla said. "Our work ethic is the same."

Related Topics: OTTERTAIL
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