Rugby, North Dakota’s downtown is booming—three new businesses are opening there this fall and fellow downtown business owner Randi Heisler couldn’t be more excited.
“I am really excited about more women opening businesses in our downtown. I am a true believer that a downtown makes a town,” says Randi.
Randi’s belief in the importance of a strong downtown led her to open her own store, 209, in December.
“There was a boutique called The Backstage that was started years ago and run by a group of women. They shared the rent and sold their crafts. It evolved into each woman purchasing and selling her own inventory. They took turns working but decided to close because they wanted to retire and they said sometimes they would open and have only one customer in a whole day,” says Randi. “I know it’s tough to have a business in a small town, but I just couldn’t let the building sit empty.”
Randi’s original idea was for 209 to be a pop-up shop, open a few days a month for retail shopping.
“It seemed like a waste of the building to only be open four or five days a month,” she says.
So she started offering classes: everything from wood sign painting, woodworking, wreath making, jewelry stamping, yoga, and even a class on how to make a moscow mule. And for the kids, monthly Lego builds.
“I think it’s so great to share other people’s work. It’s all about empowering women.”
Randi already has classes scheduled into the fall. To learn more, visit 209 on Facebook.