Apr 16, 2024 | By: Sammy Holladay

In Business: How The Olde Open Window in Brainerd Has Evolved After 14 Years

When The Olde Open Window opened 14 years ago in downtown Brainerd, it was originally a gift shop with antiques and home décor. For this week’s In Business, we visited the store to see how the store has expanded and evolved.

When Lynda Boyd first opened The Olde Open Window, it only took six months for her to expand the store after an opportunity presented itself. Owning a small business requires flexibility and the willingness to adapt to what the market calls for.

“Just having the vision and seeing what it could be and then just going forward with that, I guess,” said Boyd. “It just kind of evolved over the years with different stores in town, big box stores that would close, and then I would see an opportunity and then just increase, say, the clothing part of my store.”

For Boyd, she attributes the growth of her store to one of the oldest forms of marketing.

“Just word of mouth, and then people coming in, customers coming in,” she explained. “I’ve got a huge following now on Facebook and just being here for 14 years. So they just kind of tell me what they’re looking for and what they want and we keep adding.”

The small business community in the Brainerd Lakes Area is a tight-knit one, something that is very apparent in boutique stores like The Old Open Window. All of the businesses in the area try to stick together and uplift each other.

“If we weren’t sending each other to one another’s stores, we wouldn’t exist,” stated Boyd. “It’s just that word of mouth, the communication, cheering people on to actually, you know, succeed in their business. We need to send people back and forth. It’s just fun to see the growth that we all can – we can share.”

Being open for 14 years is no small feat for a small business. They are doing something right, and that’s why The Old Open Window also serves as a guide for other small businesses in the area.

“I think just by coming in here the past 14 years and people have seen how much growth that we have done here, they just kind of automatically gravitate towards us to ask us questions,” said Boyd. “And even if they’re not telling us what they’re doing, we’re still helping.”

Throughout its store, The Olde Open Window features over 20 other local businesses and vendors.

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