LARNED – The Local Mercantile Co. located at 112 E 6th St. in Larned opened its doors on the evening of Sept. 2, with a soft opening. Customers had the chance to stop by for refreshments and shop for products from local vendors. Since then, The Local Mercantile Co. has grown from three vendors to eight.
Sharon Towery, owner of Mercantile, said she wanted to promote community involvement and to nurture small local businesses. Towery recognized Larned is very limited with space for retail stores. Entrepreneurs also struggle with having the funds and resources to carry the overhead to open a location.
These revelations were a part of her journey as well. With a notebook in one hand and a pen in the other, she started to develop her business plan. Her vision was to include local vendors who pay a low monthly rental fee in order to market their products. Towery operates an embroidery and vinyl application business in the building alongside the other business owners.
The Local Mercantile’s current local vendors include:
• Off Broadway Boutique, owned by Katherine Roth, offers boutique-style clothing.
Roth’s venture with fashion started out in LulaRoe and is now operating as an inviting boutique available online as well. New items are featured every week during a live video from her Facebook page.
• Joelle Prescott’s products greet customers with an aroma that will make them want more. Her candles are all hand-poured soy-based with a high fragrance content to bring out the richness of each scent. She also has soaps, essential oil cleaners, and wax warmer melts. Prescott currently is working as a full-time mom, a full-time student and will soon be a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
• Courtney Thorne provides unique and eccentric jewelry created just for you. Her talent and skills are matched with every color of bead she uses for each piece of jewelry. She creates earrings, necklaces, bracelets and custom items.
• Josh Riedel of Riedel’s Welding has a passion for welding and creating horseshoe art. His products are simply beautiful. As a local firefighter, he has all the qualifications to use the current of electricity to beautify his artwork. The sky-is-the-limit with his skills and imagination.
• Lynn Lange gives life to greeting cards and gift tags. She currently has an assortment of Christmas cards that are just magnificent for the holiday. She also provides Christmas gift tags and cards for other occasions.
• Larned High School art teacher Kristen Pontius shares her artistic talent with canvas paintings. Pontius carefully chooses the subject for each design.
• The mom and daughter duo that sews an operation of love into the company Burp and Swaddle is also a vendor here at the Mercantile. Ann Smith and Hannah Purviance offer a variety of patterns and styles for infants. They offer burp rags, change pad covers, Minky blankets, swaddle blankets, baby-on-the-go bags, crib sheets, and lovies.
• The Mercantile’s newest vendor captures moments in time by photographing local scenes. Whether it is taken in the sky or on the ground, Tiffany of Veritas Ventures Photography displays her passion in every print. Currently, she sells photo cards and framed photographs.
• Two additional vendors will open soon.