Sponsored Content: Corner
Station co-op has fun, unique items
By Linda Petersen
Mar. 8, 2018
When you need a gift for that special someone or are looking for something unique for your home there’s no need to travel “up north” to find it. The newly reopened Corner Station as a co-op on Fairview’s Main Street is filled with fun, unique items ranging from Willie Rivera’s handmade wooden flags to Afton Westwood’s crocheted items, which, owner Katie Shell says, “fly out the door.”
For more than eight years, Katie managed the Fairview Corner Station at the former service station until it closed in 2015. It broke her heart to close the doors, but the business couldn’t quite cover the expenses of the large place so Katie put the building up for sale.
Last year she was approached by Jason Mardell (who had grown up in Fairview and had returned to his roots) about renting out part of the building to him for a deli shop. Jason said he didn’t need the back of the building and suggested Katie re-open the store there.
It was a perfect solution for them both, Katie says. She had missed the Corner Station and knew a number of crafters who were itching to sell their products somewhere local. She had already experienced how popular those items could be. She had only shut down the store in 2015 because the building was too big for the businesses’ needs, she says.
So, Katie put together a group of women who had experience in retail and boutiques to help her get the Co-op up and running. That group included Pat Richins and her daughter Tifani Dulani, and Mary Benjamin and Lori Peterson who each ran the former rail depot in Mt Pleasant. The team was rounded out by Jette Uttley who renovated the mill in Fairview.
“I have a dream team. I hardly have to do anything,” Katie says. “Jette and the others make the store looks fantastic.”
Since then, Katie has lined up a host of crafters who have filled almost every dresser, shelf, nook and cranny she has with their wares.
At the Co-op, you can find all kind of locally produced items from yarn from locally-raised alpacas to Willie Rivera’s wooden patriotic and military flags.
There are also locally-made jewelry, baby items and soaps, along with truffles from Blackhawk Valley Farms.
Other vendors offer all kinds of antiques, up cycles and collectibles. Styles range from Victorian to primitive to contemporary. One vendor even stocks a shelf with items of particular interest to male customers.
Katie offers toys, gift items, tin signs and other fun items. The ladies in the store “live for the holidays,” she says, so you can find all kinds of decorations for every holiday.
“Everybody does such a beautiful job,” Katie says. “They’re all doing really well.”
At the Co-op, there is a central checkout which members take turns manning. All of the vendors are thrilled with the reasonable rent and small percentage Katie charges them to be part of the co-op and for advertising and credit card processing.
At this point, the store is mostly filled, but there are still a couple of shelves available for local crafters who are interested in selling there.
One thing Katie is looking for is work from local artists that can be displayed on the walls. With such a thriving artist community in Spring City and other local areas, she says there is a lot of interest.
Katie says they try to carry things in all price ranges at the Co-op, from the $5 gift for a child’s birthday to the heirloom pieces you’ll be thrilled to pass on to your children.
The partnership with Jason has been a match made in heaven, Katie says. Diners often wander back to the Co-op to see what’s new while Co-op customers are drawn to Jason’s deli by the aroma of delicious, fresh food.
At the Co-op’s website, Thecornerstation.com, you can order gift items that Katie can have dropped shipped to you.
The Corner Station Co-op is located at 111 South State (Highway 89) in Fairview. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7, p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday. (435) 427-5500. Cash, checks and credit cards are all accepted.