LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Hidden gems are always an exciting find, and the Ginger Bee Shop in Lester Prairie is no different. Tucked away on the family’s property at 19482 Co. Rd. 9 in Lester Prairie, this occasional shop sells items that fit many different home decor needs from scented candles to inspirational signs to beautiful wreaths, and more.
The owner responsible for the cozy atmosphere and vintage ware is warm and bubbly Tiffany Ver Hey, wife, mother of three, and businesswoman. She and her family moved to the area a year ago, and are thoroughly enjoying the community.
Originally from southern Minnesota, Ver Hey attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul where she majored in Management Information Systems (MIS), a degree that deals with both computers and business.
She was previously a piano teacher, as well as a piano player for 25 years.
Her family is very involved in their church, and enjoys hanging out together, whether that be gardening, tending to their nine acres, or playing with their three cats and two dogs.
When it comes to home decor, Ver Hey’s career started a long time ago: “My mother was always a very . . . well, she was very resourceful . . . as it is with a lot of people, growing up we didn’t always have the budget for decor, you know, or the things that my mom really wanted, so being the crafter that she is, she would make it! And she would include us kids in on that.”
The creative environment and practice were part of the foundation of the Ginger Bee Shop a dream that was 10 years in the making. “When we (Ver Hey and her husband) got married, we were 20 years old, and we were poor . . . but I wouldn’t trade that for the world, because it made us, you know, look at what we really needed . . . and it was those times of ‘hey, here’s a spare board that I would really like to put a couple of words on’. . . it just kind of stems from, if I couldn’t find it in the store, I would just make it. And even if I did find it in the store, it was probably out of budget, so I just started working with what I had.”
She later began making home decor objects not just for herself, but for family and friends, as well, hoping to one day begin a business, but unsure of what it would look like. When her family relocated to Lester Prairie, to a home that boasted several extra buildings, perfect for a small store, those dreams became a reality.
The Ginger Bee Shop has only been open for three months, but already has the feel of a rustic and established business. While a number of the items Ver Hey sells are homemade, some are re-done items, or from different manufacturers and distributors, such as 1803 candles or Primitives by Kathy.
If she could describe her business in three words, it would be “Charming, picturesque, and experience.”
For Ver Hey, “. . . the highlight of the day is when they walk in the door, and somebody says, ‘oh, for cute,’ in the classic Minnesota way, and even if they don’t buy anything. . . the day is totally fulfilling, and everybody leaves with a smile.”
The shop is only open a few days a month, but it also offers individual shopping opportunities for small groups, as well as various production parties.
The next dates the store will be open are Friday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Saturday, Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Ginger Bee Shop will also be represented at the vendor market at the Winsted Summer Festival from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10 at Mill Reserve Park, downtown by the lake.
For more information on opening dates and events, follow the featured link at www.herald-journal.com or see the Ginger Bee Facebook page.