Teacher by day, and small business owner by… weekend. That’s the name of the game for Central MN local Andrew Schultz. He’s an elementary teacher at the St. Cloud Math & Science Academy and also the owner of Nine Yards, a boutique gift shop and DIY space in downtown Sauk Rapids.
“In 2017, Nine Yards started as a traveling setup at local markets and vendor shows. Opening a storefront was a pipedream – or so it seemed – until one day I was driving past a storefront in Sauk Rapids and saw that it was vacant. Suddenly in a matter of weeks, I was open for business and was putting that dream into action. What happened in between seeing the space and hanging the open sign is still a blur, but it wouldn’t be an adventure if you can see straight the entire time… right?”
Schultz grew up in Eden Valley, MN and the St. Cloud area was a big part of his life growing up, so he said it felt like a natural place to ‘come home to’ after college. “Sauk Rapids is the perfect place to run a small business. The town is an idyllic setting and so many good things are happening here lately! I am just glad to be a small part of it all!”
And keeping local is an important piece of Nine Yards, too. “We are fortunate to have many locals join in on this adventure. Our store features a handful of local makers in the store. You’ll find a variety of items like towels, candles, repurposed furniture, wall signs, jewelry, seasonal decor, and more. As in every small business, word of mouth is the most powerful tool. We appreciate every customer who has told a friend about this new little store in Sauk Rapids called Nine Yards.”
While Nine Yards has a great deal to offer (the inventory is always changing!), it also brings a little something else to the table… hands-on elements! The first is the Plant Bar, which offers a seed of the month for customers to plant and take home in a terracotta pot. This is especially easy for parents to come in and do with their children. The second is the Build Bar, which is a monthly project that you build in the store. All the tools, materials, and know-how that you need are on site and ready to make your project a success story. How great is that? “At Nine Yards, we believe that all have the power to create and do!”
There’s no time like the present to explore Nine Yards’ projects! They will be partnering with Pantown Brewery on August 19, from 6-9pm for a Build Bar project being offered in their taproom. “There will be two projects to choose from and a team of builders from Nine Yards on-site to get your build on. We are looking forward to meeting some new faces and getting out in the community again!”
Because Andrew’s full-time gig is teaching, Nine Yards is currently open two weekends each month to allow time to restock and refresh the store between weekends. Upcoming Sale Dates include August 12-15 and August 26-29. Hours are Friday 4-7, Saturday 9-6, and Sunday 11-4. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram where the latest information on sale dates, specials, Build Bar projects, events, and product offerings are featured.
“I am so grateful to be part of the business community in Central Minnesota. I really enjoy visiting with other small business owners and hearing what has worked for them or ways that we can partner and support each other. There truly is a sense of community within those conversations. When one of us does better, we all do better. Plus it’s nice to talk with someone who knows the hard work and thought that goes into growing your business.”