Stockist Spotlight: Red’s Mercantile // Eau Claire, Wisconsin
We feature all of our different rad stockists weekly because we believe in supporting small business!
What's the name of your shop? Where are you located? Tell us about y'all!
Red’s Mercantile! We’re a modern home goods + accessories shop in Eau Claire, WI. Everything we carry is all made in America. Our shop vibe is Scandinavian minimalist, mixed with a woodsy boho, mixed with modern day feminist. We curate a section of goods that funds a grant we give out to women who want to start their own business. (we’re giving out $4,000 this spring!) Actually one of Girl Crush’s pins is a part of this section ☺. You might have heard of our riverside town as Bon Iver hails from here and we now host this bomb music festival - Eaux Claires - every summer.
What made you decide to open? How long have you been around?
Our little city has been going through somewhat of a cultural renaissance in the last 5-8 years. Growing up here, manufacturing jobs were king – Uniroyal made tires, a paper mill pumped out lots of commodities and we’re home base for Menard’s distribution center. It didn’t always leave much for the creative class – I left to do other things for a while myself. But a lot of people who are from here – who love it – have moved home to reinvest in a community we love. I wanted to be a part of that change and flex my creative passions – thus Red’s was born! I moved home and with no retail experience started the joint. We’re about a year and half old now -- 2 years in November!
What's your favorite thing about being a small biz owner?
You can literally do whatever you want. Sure we sell “stuff” but we have also become this hub for connection – especially for women. We host poetry readings, yoga, book club, rallies, workshops and more. Women are connecting in a really authentic way. There’s no rulebook for running your own business and I like that you can just mold into whatever you want – because who’s stopping you? I’m not afraid to fly my liberal flag high in business either – we support women fiercely and progressive values. If that pisses people off I really don’t care. To me, it’s more important to be true to who you are and invite people into that – you create a business that is more authentic.
What's your favorite thing to buy for your store? How has the shop allowed you to discover new artists/product?
I geek out on buying pottery and am starting my own line this fall. I’m also a sucker for good branding and packaging. Product quality should always speak for itself, but when the packaging has that extra sparkle –who can resist?
I also love meeting makers who are just starting out. Their passion for their craft is so alive and you have the power as a shop owner to help elevate that.