In Business: The 218 Galleria in Baxter Highlighting Local Vendors and Businesses

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A boutique shop in Baxter is looking to showcase local business as they sell a variety of products from vendors all over the Brenner Lakes area.

Nikki Trout and Kara Kristofferson both had their own shops before becoming business partners. They support each other’s businesses and quickly become friends and see an opportunity to start their new business together.

“He’d had the idea for a while. Kara kept coming up with different spots, none of which were a good fit,” Traut said.

While many local vendors sell clothing, home decor and other items, 218 Galleria has items large and small that highlight the many small businesses in the Brainerd Lakes area.

We have 20 different vendors in the store between brick and mortar and local vendors in the store. So there are different things,” Christopherson said. “We have furniture, we have furniture, we sell jewelry, accessories, bags, purses, soaps, anything you can think of in the store.

The holiday season certainly boosts shopping everywhere, but store owners feel that one of the oldest forms of advertising is giving them a boost.

“They’ve been busy the last couple of weeks, but I think it’s more word of mouth,” Christopherson said. “People hearing about us are finding out about that and seeing the different vendors in the community and hearing that we’re open now and hearing that we can come in and shop. But yes, I believe the season helps sales and people learn about us.

Every small business needs the help of the community to survive. And for places like The 218 Galleria, people in the Brainerd Lakes area always seem to have each other’s backs.

“The community has been great for us. A lot of our vendors here have a brick-and-mortar location somewhere in the surrounding community, so they’ve brought their own following,” Traut said. Everyone was working together, and when you can offer a little bit of everything, that naturally brings in more people.

Kristofferson and Trout plan to open a wine and beer bar in the hall from the gallery, which will open in January or February of next year.

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