Periwinkle gives new color to city of Ottertail [UPDATED]Published 9:52am Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Updated 11:58am Tuesday, July 9, 2013
If there is one thing Stephanie Ellingson loves, it’s bringing color and fun to the shopping and decorating experience.
Ellingson is the owner of Periwinkle, a small store that has quite the following from its recent stays in Fergus Falls and Perham since 2000. She opened their doors in Ottertail last April.
After originally purchasing the Ottertail location for the store and to do some work for her painting and decorating business, Ellingson has used the shop to put that work on display. But the store’s success and the number of merchandise items she’s brought in has made her reconsider her original plans.
“I’m a retailer at heart,” she said. “I love the interaction with people. There are so many Fergus Falls and Perham customers, it’s just so good being here.”
Periwinkle offers a variety of clothing, jewelry, decor and furniture, all with in an eclectic style that Ellingson describes as a “big colorful mix.” The store has also started to cater to resorters and summer visitors, offering a number of items that tourist can bring home to remember the lakes country.
“Color is the key for our store,” Ellingson said. “I like things that have a vintage feel to them, things that are distressed and are a little beat up or weathered.”
Ellingson continues her painting and decorating business in her studio in Perham. While Periwinkle is a great place to display her creativity, the store has become a fun stop for Ellingson on the days she works in the store.
“I love the merchandising, walking around the store and reorganizing,” she said. “For me, it’s like playing. It’s not even a job.”
That is the same experience Ellingson said she wants to bring to customers. That has been one of the store’s biggest successes, with a number of customers complementing her on the atmosphere it brings to the small town.
“I have a great staff. People tell me how lucky I am, how blessed I am to have them. They’re just so great,” Ellingson said. “It’s all about the experience customers get, so just to find great people right here, I’m so fortunate for that.”
That spirit has spilled over to the Ottertail business community. Ellingson said that the variety of fun stores in the small city has created a unique experience for summer visitors.
“The more we can work together, the better this community is,” Ellingson said.
Periwinkle is open in the summer Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.