A business of repurposing
Published 9:29 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Farm wives take hobby and turn it into store
After initially opening its doors last November, Flip Flop Farm Girls will host an open house Saturday.
The business is owned by two farm wives — Jennie Johnson of New Richland and Sue Martin of north of Albert Lea — and started next to Troy Thompson Insurance Agency. In April, it moved next to Albert Lea Seed House because it had outgrown the first space.
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The store features everything from craft and vintage items to repurposed furniture, art, floral arrangments and jewelry.
Friends for several years, Johnson and Martin have each been repurposing items for fun for 30 years.
The women said their ability to customize home decor according to their customers’ preferences is what sets them apart from other companies. They also have a unique selection and avoid buying in bulk from the market.
The women said the business got its start when they would visit auctions with their husbands and purchase items they thought they would repurpose.
They sold items on Facebook, at craft shows and through word of mouth. Soon their sheds and garages got too full, so they looked for a spot to open a store location that also offered some work space.
The name Flip Flop Farm Girls comes from Johnson and Martin’s love of wearing flip flops all the time — even on the farm, where it isn’t always wise to do so. It also references their tendency to rearrange their homes.
Johnson previously owned Scrappin 4 U, a scrapbooking store in New Richland, and Martin worked and traveled for Elizabeth Arden for 20 years as a makeup artist and trainer. They are the only employees of the business, but they said their husbands and children also help out.
In the next year, they hope to continue building on their successes, to add customer base, to keep up with the latest trends and to prepare for the fall and holiday season.
The open house will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The women’s husbands will serve pork tenderloin sandwiches, and door prizes will be given away.
From 6 to 9 p.m. June 26, they will host a canvas painting night with Debb Peterson. Drinks and snacks will be served.
The women said they are always looking for talented local crafters. One of their greatest joys is seeing the passion and excitement from local crafters who sell on consignment at the store.
Flip Flop Farm Girls
Address: 1428 W. Main St., Albert Lea