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Sisters get thrifty

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Thrifty Sisters Thrift Shop is carving a niche in Red Wing's Clay City, according to owners Karon Prescott and Pamela Wilkens. (Republican Eagle photo by Anne Jacobson)2 / 2

When Karon Prescott and sister Pamela Wilkens decided to open their own thrift store, they searched all over the region.

"We looked in a 50-mile radius," Prescott said.

Their search included Eau Claire, Wis., Hastings and Wabasha.

"We kept coming back to Red Wing," Prescott said.

On July 8, Prescott and Wilkens officially opened Thrifty Sisters Thrift Store at 908 Tile Drive.

Now, Thrifty Sisters features a "little bit of everything," Prescott said. There's clothing, knick knacks, toys, antiques, sporting and hunting gear, furniture, small kitchen appliances, dishware and more.

Prescott and Wilkens get a lot of their inventory from garage sales and from individuals who bring things into the shop.

"We take just about everything," Prescott said, adding that "you just never know" what someone may want to buy.

Thrifty Sisters also does a small amount of consignment. Currently, Prescott and Wilkens are selling a few larger furniture items — sofas, a futon and a large coffee table — on consignment.

The idea to open a "reasonably priced" thrift store came to Prescott decades ago. And, after moving back to Red Wing from Montana — where Prescott worked as a laboratory and X-ray technician for 20 years — Prescott said the idea returned to her.

Thrifty Sisters now joins a number of other thrift stores in Red Wing. But Prescott said the store isn't looking to compete.

"We just want to do our own thing," she said.

She said she routinely sends people to the other thrift locations if Thrifty Sisters doesn't have what they're looking for.

And, Prescott added, customers have told her that Thrifty Sisters has already become part of their regular thrift store routes.

"People I know have a path they go on for thrifting," she said. "Now we're one of the numbers."

Prescott admitted that she was warned about the store's Tile Drive location and told that it might be "tough" to have a retail business in the more industrial part of Red Wing. But so far, Prescott said Thrifty Sisters has proven that theory wrong.

"Neighborhood folks have said they're happy to have a place close by," she said.

Additionally, in the two months since the store has opened, business has been good.

"We decided this is the spot for us," she said. "It totally worked for us."

The details

What: Thrifty Sisters

Where: 908 Tile Drive

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (Will change to winter hours in the fall)

More information: 651-388-1848

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.