Small business, big impact

New editions to downtown

Tommy Lehrer

Kenna Brown and Kenzie Haberman

Small businesses are important to communities because they are based on buying and selling within the community. Small firms in rural areas and big cities can be seen as a major economic benefit of shopping locally. In some towns, a small business is the only type that can survive while serving a smaller and reduced population. In a big city, small businesses often offer more diverse options or specialize in providing unique or personal customer experiences. Presented within these establishments is new employment opportunities and the establishment can serve as the building blocks for some of the United States’ largest corporations.

Downtown Owatonna has exciting changes coming, including the new addition of Urban Loft. Urban Loft was previously known as Urban Finds and Bistro located in the Medford Outlet. They were stationed in Medford for four years, until deciding to move to downtown Owatonna in August of 2018. Urban Loft sells gift items, antiques, lots of clothes and jewelry and some specialty food items, and the Owatonna Hat Chic specializes in hats, Huskie gear, spirit wear for any town, embroidery, screen print, specialization, glitter and rhinestones for men, women and children.

Paige Winter
Urban Loft logo on the front entrance

Urban Loft is owned by Nicole Winter. Winter decided to move her store to downtown Owatonna because it offered more opportunities, and business was slow at the Medford Outlet. Winter said, “I have worked for a long time to become a successful small business owner, and it is finally happening, and I could not be happier.” Winter’s only employees are her two daughters who attend OHS. Her oldest daughter, Paige Winter, is seventeen and has helped her mom create the new store since the beginning. Paige said, “I am excited for being downtown Owatonna because I love seeing my mom do what she loves. It is so much nicer being in town instead of fifteen minutes away at the Medford outlet.” Their new address is 303 North Cedar Avenue in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Tanya Henson, the owner of The Hat Chic in Owatonna, started her one-of-a-kind business in her own kitchen in 2013. In 2014, Henson opened her pop up store in downtown Owatonna, and officially started her permanent business on Feb. 4, 2015. She recently moved to a new location on September 21, 2018, just next door to her old store. Henson released her new clothing line, Tonna Apparel, in the summer of 2017. Tonna Apparel is a modern look on the history of Owatonna. Owning a small business is always a hit or miss, and a location can indicate the amount of success a business will have. Downtown Owatonna is a perfect place for a small business like The Hat Chic. Henson said, “Being in a cluster of other businesses is really positive,” as she was referring to the workers at Federated and Jostens who walk around downtown on their lunch breaks or after work. Check out Tanya Henson’s work at 110 N Cedar Avenue in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Small Business Saturday is on Nov 24, 2018 in downtown Owatonna. Come explore the new businesses and holiday cheer.