By Jennifer Kotila
HOWARD LAKE, MN One Sky Thrift Store opened in Howard Lake June 12, and has been busily providing its customers with friendly service ever since.
The store, which is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, is located in the former antique store at the intersection of US Highway 12 and Eighth Avenue in Howard Lake.
“It’s a great location,” said Jeremy.
“We feel very lucky to be in this building,” Jennifer said, noting it was the ideal space and only needed cleaning before setting up the thrift store.
The name is something the Ryks take to heart. “We all live under one sky if you take care of the people, they will take care of you,” Jeremy said.
“My sister once told me, ‘If you think you only have a little, think of someone else who needs less,’” Jennifer said.
Although the store is a way to satisfy the Ryks’ passion for shopping other thrift stores and flea markets, it is also something they wanted to do in order to help people out in a bad economy, Jennifer added.
Along with shopping at other thrift stores and flea markets, the Ryks accept donations and sell things on consignment for customers.
The Ryks strive to provide something for everyone at their store, and one will find power tools, furniture, dishes, clothing, toys, decorations, and much more at the spacious site.
If customers cannot find what they are looking for, the Ryks keep a customer wish list, which they take with them while looking for new inventory, Jennifer said.
For instance, during this interview, a man came in to pick up a cast iron skillet which he had asked the Ryks to find for him.
Being the owners of a thrift store is also an educational experience, the Ryks noted.
For example, the Ryks learned that the number on the handle of a cast iron skillet is not the size in inches of the pan, but how many eggs it will hold.
They also recently learned the complete history of a vintage kitchen mixer that a man came in to buy one day.
The Ryks appreciate all the support they have received from the community.
“Things are going good. It’s nice to have the support of the people, both for the idea and for the location,” Jeremy said.
“It’s nice to meet all the people who live here,” Jennifer said, noting she had just moved to the community a few years ago.
Bargains can be found throughout the store, especially for children’s items. Most children’s clothing and toys sell for only a dollar, Jennifer said.
Some of the items that Jennifer noted sell quickly, which surprised her, are craft items and desk chairs.
The Ryks also hope to have an inventory of sporting goods, including kayaks and duck blinds.