FULDA — About three years after opening a brick-and-mortar boutique in downtown Edgerton, owner Beth Van Dyke is ready to expand her business into a second location.
Van Dyke's shop, Coneflower, began as pop-up, traveling to festivals and fairs throughout southwest Minnesota for 10 years before settling into a storefront on Edgerton's main drag in 2018.
What Van Dyke enjoys most about running her business is meeting new people. She loves running into folks around town and noticing that they're wearing merchandise from Coneflower.
And, of course, working with a good friend also makes the job a joy. From the beginning, Delaine Vander Woude has been helping Van Dyke run the store. The two have been friends since high school.
Vander Woude says her favorite part of the business is helping customers choose new looks.
"It's a fun atmosphere," she said.
Coneflower sells mainly women's clothing, as well as some children's outfits. Clothing ranges in size from S to 3X, with options from regular to curvy and casual to formal. Bed linens draw customers from far away. The store also offers accessories including shoes, purses, hats and jewelry. A robust gift section is popular, and Coneflower almost always has something in the store on sale.
Just 20 days ago, Fulda City Council Member Ann Witzel approached Van Dyke and asked if she'd be interested in opening a second store in Fulda, offering multiple options for the new locations.
Having just received a substantial order of merchandise, Van Dyke agreed to open Coneflower 2, and she, Vander Woude and Witzel sprang into action.
"They (city officials) have been very inviting and have done everything they can to help," Van Dyke said.
The first step was to repaint the walls, which used to be Minnesota Gopher maroon and gold. Local contractor Randy Dierks of Randy Dierks Construction built a checkout desk, dressing room and shelving for the store. For the last three weeks, community members, including Van Dyke's parents, have been pitching in to get the space ready for opening.
Vander Woude, who now lives in Chandler, will take charge of managing Coneflower 2, which opens 1 p.m. Wednesday at 108 N. St. Paul Ave., Fulda.
Tentative store hours after Wednesday will be 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Coneflower 2 will also be open during evening community events, such as summer Thursday night roll-ins. If the lights are on, Van Dyke and Vander Woude said, the doors are open.
In a few weeks, the store will host a grand opening to inaugurate the new location.
Van Dyke and Vander Woude said they're nervous about expanding their business, but excited to serve new clientele and fill a needed niche in the community.