By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Nestled in a cozy shop next to Latté Da Coffee Shop in Dassel is The Meeker Tailor, a new store whose owner specializes in sewing and refurbishing furniture and antiques.
Tina Bathke recently moved here from Annandale, where she had a store named The Etc. Shoppe, much like her store in Dassel, featuring gently used and refurbished items.
Bathke is a certified tailor and has been spending much of her time sewing after she retired from 25 years as a registered nurse.
She achieved a degree in fashion design in 1982, from what now is the Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
After that, she worked for what was Bjorkmans, a fine clothing store where she made coats, wedding gowns, etc.
“We did everything there,” she said.
Now, she does everything from sewing on a simple button to making an entire suit, but she mainly does alterations.
Though she has a lot of experience with home design, Bathke doesn’t have as much time as she would like to do that in addition to sewing.
With her sewing shop in the back, Bathke’s store also has a variety of items for sale including refurbished furniture, collectibles, jewelry, glassware, hand-painted furniture, artwork, and much more.
Bathke’s taste is vintage and retro with a little shabby chic, she said.
“I really want to sell things inexpensively, especially in this economy,” Bathke said.
She tries to sell things reasonably priced so that a person can update a room at little cost.
“I’m not going to get rich, but I’m having fun anyway,” she said with a smile.
Her store is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or any day by appointment (320) 241-7066.
Working somewhat alongside Bathke is her partner, Tom Koecheler, who is referred to as Dr. Fix-it.
Together, the couple work to repair antiques, but Koecheler can fix just about anything, Bathke said.
Household appliances, bicycles, and furniture are just some of the types of things Koecheler can repair,
He especially enjoys refurbishing old lawn mowers, Bathke said.
“He has a lot of creativity and ingenuity,” she said, adding that he sees the value in something no longer useful and fixes it.
“I really admire that about him,” she said.
Koecheler can be reached at (612) 584-8341 Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.