Though not optimal, closures due to COVID-19 allowed one business time to really put the effort into setup as owner Elaine Auger prepared to reopen her shop in Nisswa.

“On March 1, we took over the rent here and then set up during COVID,” Auger said. “It was kind of a great time to keep busy.”

After the widespread closures had ended, the shop opened June 3 at the end of Main Street, next to Big Axe Brewing, finally bringing to fruition something that Auger had wanted for years.

She has wanted store space in Nisswa since 2014, when she first opened Tattered Edges south of Motley.

“It was mostly the reputation of Nisswa for being a great shopping area,” Auger said. “The foot traffic is constant all day long pretty much throughout the summer.”

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The draw of Nisswa was so strong that Auger made her decision only after about 12 hours of consideration. She didn't want to lose the space that formerly housed Indulge Your Senses to someone else. Auger was excited to join the local business community, where she said she can provide items that fit in, while being different.

“I have a product I didn't feel was represented at all and I felt comfortable coming in with the other businesses kind of as a complement to other things you can find here that are unique,” Auger said.

She calls her products stylish, primitive country décor. She said the style is very popular in the eastern half of the United States and until the economic downturn of 2008, it was gaining steam in Minnesota as well. Among the items in her shop are many handmade items, including signs, baskets, dolls, towels, candles and wood products.

Auger, formerly a teacher, opened her first business just after the economy recovered.

She said her neighboring businesses have told her not to base her expectations in Nisswa off of what she experiences this summer because foot traffic is down; however, Auger said compared to her last location, business is booming. She said the Green Porch in Nisswa carries items that complement her store.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.