A new name and a new home for Prairie Chic
A new home, new name, new brand, and a new business philosophy.
Shelly Greimann has moved her business from one end of a Main Street block in Blue Earth to the other end.
And, that move has sparked some other changes, as well.
The business started in her rural Blue Earth home with the name The Prairie Chick Market back in 2011, after Greimann retired as the executive director of the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce.
In 2013 or 2014 she moved into a spot in her cousin Bruce Ankeny’s Ankeny Furniture store in downtown Blue Earth.
The name Prairie Chick was meant to be a bit unique.
The “k” at the end of Chick was tilted, and was a play on the word chic.
“Some people said Prairie Chick and some said Prairie Chic (sheik), so now I have dropped the “k” and it is just Prairie Chic,” Greimann says. “That is the new name.”
The new branding slogan with the new name is “creating home.” Greimann says she is getting away from just having vintage home goods and repurposed furniture and antiques and more into home style.
“I am expanding on my re-design and design services part of the business,” she says. “I am doing more of helping people decorate their homes, arrange their furniture and make their house, a home. It is something I love doing.”
The Prairie Chic is now in a building on the corner of Seventh and Main in downtown Blue Earth, that formerly housed a photography business.
Greimann and her husband, Rahn, along with her daughter, Brianna and son-in-law, David Greer, bought the building together, about a year ago.
“We first remodeled the apartment upstairs,” Greimann says. “The previous owners had done some work on it, and we finished the project.”
They turned it into an Airbnb rental, and Greimann says it has been constantly booked.
“We did the apartment first because it was going to be income property for us,” she says. “And we can’t believe how busy it has been. From former college roommates getting together, wedding attendees to wind tower workers.”
They call it The Loft on Main. Rahn Greimann says he thinks it is closeness to businesses downtown, parks and other places, all within walking distance that attracts clients.
The main floor business space took a lot of time and effort to remodel.
“We did a lot, and Rahn did a big part of it,” Shelly Greimann says. “We tore a lot of it out and tried to make it have a new, yet vintage look.”
Besides remodeling everything inside, Greimann has spent a lot of time moving everything in and making creative displays for all of her items.
“I am being more selective of what I have in the store,” Greimann says. “I used to have boxes of items dropped off and I am not going to take things I can’t use. I am going to be more selective about furniture, too.”
Rahn Greimann is very proud of his wife.
“I remember sitting having lunch by Juba’s when we were 16 and she said she wanted to one day have her own store on Blue Earth’s Main Street,” Greimann says. “And now, 44 years later, her dream has come true.
One interesting new addition to her store is going to be offering retro bottles of sodas.
“It looked like a fun thing to have,” she explains. “I will have a table and chairs for customers to sit and enjoy one of the many sodas we will have.”
Her Prairie Chic business is not the only one located on the premises.
The Greimanns and the Greers also recently purchased the vacant lot next door from the city.
David Greer has started a new business there called Legacy Trees.
“Trees and shrubs have always been a passion of mine,” Greer says. “I started growing them for sale three years ago. I?am bringing in some stock to this lot and seeing if they will sell.”
He reports they had a very good first week. Since his planted trees are not yet ready, he is ordering more stock for his nursery business.
“I planted about 45 trees and 45 shrubs on some land on the Alberta Greimann farm place,” he says. “I have also started some from seeds now.”
Greer says he was interested in the former Blue Earth Landscape building, but it was sold to someone else.
“But I think having the business on this corner lot in downtown is probably better,” he says. “We are getting a lot of interest despite the state shut down.”
Greer is getting a lot of help from his wife, and their seven children.
“It is a family affair and good for the kids to get involved,” he says. “It gives them something to do besides school work.”