‘A little bit of everything’
CANBY – For the past year, Linda and Dean Ward, along with their children, Torrie and Tucker, have enjoyed sharing their family business in Canby with customers from all over the country.
The Seriously Whimsical Cottage is known as a place “where an eclectic mix of treasures are found.”
“We have home dcor and furniture, both new furniture and refurbished furniture,” Torrie Ward said. “We also have a lot of personalized signs. We do some wedding rentals and we have some lit signs, too. We have a little bit of everything, to give our customers choices.”
Paul Harvey “The Farmer” signs have been one of the most popular gifts for males, Ward said.
“Since we do live in southwest Minnesota, there’s a lot of farmers around here, so the signs are great gifts for a male or a farmer if you don’t know what to give them,” she said. “They’re really popular and always make good gifts.”
Ward said that the store also sells a lot of candles and melts.
“We have winter collections and spring collections of melts, which are very popular,” Ward said. “We also have a lot of re-purposed things. Our magnet boards, those are always popular because we give the customer the choice of metal that they want to use behind it, whether it is corrugated or old decorative tin. Those are huge in our store.”
This past weekend, members of the Ward family showcased a variety of items during the Home Show in Marshall.
“It’s our first time at the Home Show,” Torrie Ward said. “And this is just a small sample of what we have. There’s a lot more stuff, like baby items, toys, jewelry, scarves, bowls and more pottery, that we didn’t bring, but we’re very excited to be here.”
Prices vary quite a bit, depending on the item itself. Hoosier cabinets are typically priced on the high end of items in the store, while magnets are the least costly.
“It’s anywhere from a couple of bucks to upwards of $300 or $400,” Ward said. “Some of our personalized signs range from $25 to $100, and our furniture pieces could be anywhere from $25 to $300 or $400, depending on what it is.”
Customers from other states have expressed their approval on the Seriously Whimsical Cottage prices a number of times, Ward said.
“We have people coming in, like from Texas or somewhere else, and they’re like, ‘Wow, these prices are great. I can buy four things for the price of one somewhere else.’ So that always makes us happy, to give customers something they can afford and enjoy in their home or their office.”
Ward noted that her mom, Linda, started the store, having owned a store about 10 years ago.
“That store was more antiques and refurbished furniture,” Torrie Ward said. “Then she went back to school and finished her degree up. We decided to open it up again, to kind of have a family business, to keep us kids busy and give them something to do when we’re away. They love it. It’s fun. And the best part is that we get to create projects that put a smile on a customer’s face.”
According to Ward, each family member has a special contribution to the business.
“My mom is the painter in the family,” Torrie Ward said. “My dad (Dean), he’s the one who helps put the structure back in furniture. He’ll help put the magnet boards together by drilling the holes and nailing things together.”
Tucker Ward helps by working in the store, taking orders and doing some of the furniture as well.
“I’m the muscle,” Tucker Ward said.
Torrie Ward helps out in other areas that are needed at the store.
“I’m the one who does the personalized signs and does random stuff,” she said.
Hours of operation are Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment as well.
“We’re open on the weekends or anytime by appointment,” Ward said. “We try to make it convenient for all of our customers.”