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Teaming up to bring you hidden treasures in Farmington

Deborah Hanson, left, was looking to make a change at her Rosemount business Vendors Unique Boutique when she met Bonnie Heim. The two have gotten along well as they opened Corner Treasures, located at the corner of Third and Spruce streets in Farmington.

Before January, Deborah Hanson and Bonnie Heim were strangers. Now, they're business partners.

Things move fast sometimes.

When Hanson and Heim met, Hanson was running Vendors Unique Boutique, a collection of independent vendors operating from a mall in Rosemount. She was unhappy with the location, though, and she was looking to move. Heim was a vendor interested in renting a space. The two got along, and as they talked they discovered they had skills that complemented each other. Heim has a long history in bookkeeping and office management. Hanson is good with people. It didn't take long before they were talking about working together. And it didn't take long after that before they found a spot in Farmington to open their new business.

"We work together really well," Heim said. "I think we complement each other."

On April 3, the pair opened Corner Treasures in a space formerly occupied by Farmington's Rambling River Center.

The new store is much like the one Hanson ran in Rosemount. They rent out space to vendors, and sell items on consignment. There is already a handful of vendors in place, and more are signing up all the time. They added three or four new vendors last Sunday.

It's hard to categorize the items on offer at the store, because there's little in the way of a theme. One vendor near the front has tables filled with old toys and games. Another space, tucked away in a separate room, has jewelry and other accessories. There are shelves full of old DVDs, tables of antiques and, at the front of the store, a rack of candy.

Last Friday afternoon, one customer left the store with two sets of DVDs from the television series Stargate: Atlantis, some jewelry and a Twix candy bar.

"I've always said we have a treasure of lots of different items," Hanson said. "Each one has their own little niche they like to do."

Hanson and Heim expect vendors to come in at least once a week to freshen up their displays -- buff and fluff, they call it. They want to keep things neat, and they want new items in the store on a regular basis.

The store won't just be about selling things, though. Hanson and Heim plan to hold special events like fashion shows and Princess-themed birthday parties. Shelves in the center of the store are on wheels so they can be pushed out of the way to make room for other activities.

A couple of weeks in, Hanson and Heim are happy with the way business has gone. Each of their vendors got a check after the first week, and customers seem happy with the shop.

The pair has also gotten a lot of support from the city and from other business owners. They are working with some of the other shops downtown on cross-promotion.

Corner Treasures is located at the corner of Third and Spruce streets. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606