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The Nest Egg selling items created by local artisans

The Nest Egg features handmade products — such as artwork, woodwork and other odds and ends — made by people throughout the area. Jordan Willi / Rivertown Multimedia1 / 2
The Nest Egg, located at 228 Paperjack Drive in New Richmond, is run by Britany LaRoue and has been open since April 1. Jordan Willi / Rivertown Multimedia2 / 2

When Britany LaRoue was little, she would sit by her mother, a seamstress by trade, and watch her sew. Years later when LaRoue had children of her own, she decided to start making items for her own children.

"Then I started to have friends and family ask me to make them some of the stuff I had made," LaRoue said. "I just kept on making more and more and it started to turn into attending craft shows and selling online and all of that jazz."

A few months back, LaRoue was contacted by Bon-Ton which owns a lot of big box store retailers and started selling with them. However, not knowing if she would get another order from Bon-Ton or any other retailer, LaRoue wanted to do something to help the community and decided to open The Nest Egg.

"This shop is mine and I have my products in it, but it really is to support other local artisans," LaRoue, who has been married for 10 years and has three sons, said. "We have a total of 43 vendors who sell items here and it is all handmade, one of a kind items. And when I say local, all of the vendors are within 20 miles of the shop. It really is a place to support the community."

The Nest Egg, which opened on April 1, is located at 228 Paperjack Drive in New Richmond and is open from 9-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m-4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.

During the store's opening weekend The Nest Egg sold more than one-third of the shop's inventory, LaRoue said.

"The community support was amazing. I had put flyers up everywhere in town and went to a ton of places to try and talk about it, as well as putting up as much as I could on social media," LaRoue said. "After that great weekend, we are going to continue to contact our vendors to keep bringing more things in to keep the shop stocked."

The Nest Egg sells anything handmade, including but not limited to, home decor, cards and furniture items. When the Nest Egg opened, LaRoue had items from 34 different vendors for sale in the store. But after just a few weeks that number has jumped to 43. The shop also offers classes taught by local artists.

"We have a little bit of everything and we try to go for every demographic instead of trying to find just one single person or type of person who would shop here. We want everyone to feel welcome," LaRoue said. "Our classes are taught by local artists and, since we got our liquor license, you can have a beer or wine cooler with your friends when you come in for classes. We even have reached out to businesses to do some teambuilding exercises for them."

The thing that impressed LaRoue the most since she opened the shop has been the passion her vendors have for their handmade items.

"The time, the effort and the love that is put into the products is just amazing," LaRoue said. "It is nice to see things made by somebody else in the community. And there are just so many fun things that people have made as well. It is just a fun place and we welcome everyone."

In addition to the quality of the products LaRoue's vendors have been stocking the store with, LaRoue has also been impressed with the support she has gotten from the community.

"People come in multiple times a day and a week just to see the new products someone has dropped off after I post something about it online," LaRoue said. "It is really great to see the same faces over again. We are really excited for people to see what we are doing here."

Those interested in having their handmade items sold at The Nest Egg can stop by the store with a sample, or pictures of their products, when the shop is open.

"As long as it isn't competing with another vendor they are more than welcome to sell it here," LaRoue said. "We are all about supporting the community. And I would love for more items to come in as well."

To find out more about The Nest Egg, visit squareup.com/store/the-nest-egg/, or visit the store's Facebook page.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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