Hi there! Today we are highlighting on of our newest stockists: Red's Mercantile in Eau Claire, WI. Red's Mercantile is one of a handful of new businesses that opened in downtown Eau Claire over the past several months. This charming city is being revitalized with the help of hardworking, eloquent Rebecca Cooke, owner of Red's. If the success of a business is indicative of ownership (as it most often is), this shop is sure to be a hit. We caught up with Becca to ask a few questions.
Tell us the Red's Mercantile backstoryMy background is in politics, marketing and public relations – a medley of high stress jobs that aim for creativity, but equate to a lopsided work-life balance. I opened Red’s within 2 months of birthing the idea of curating a retail store. It was an opportunity to let my creativity finally boil over into a space and town I love. I lived all over the country and moving home to be closer to family, this felt like the perfect thing to pour my heart into. We seek to source goods from American makers – with an emphasis on supporting Midwest makers first (hence my love for Little Korboose). I work to stock my store with goods that represent the Scandinavian heritage of this area – simple, timeless and functional. Our store is more minimal than most folks are used to – but that’s my aim. For folks to start decluttering their lives and spend more time filling rooms with people rather than things.
What do you like best about your shop neighborhood?The promise and the history. My shop is poised atop a little hill just blocks from the Chippewa River. The area has a rich logging heritage and most all the buildings in my neighborhood have historical significance to our town. In addition to Eau Claire’s commitment to preservation, a new boutique hotel will open on my block this summer (think Midwest Ace), a restaurant will open a block down (probs farm-to-table) and several other conversations are brewing to build this District into a destination. The growth of Eau Claire’s downtown is sure to put it on the map of Midwest “must-sees”.
What is your favorite Little Korboose piece and why?I lived in California for a couple years and the New Mexico Tea Towel and pillows really harken back to that time. Even in the cold of the deep north, having desert/southwest accents can transport you to a different place. And since our store logo is a red fox – the fox pillows are also a favorite of mine.
Describe your ideal Eau Claire weekendMost weekends you’ll find me at the shop – having coffee and chatting with customers. An ideal Saturday is canoeing down one of our many waterways – Eau Claire is French for clear water. Followed by an evening at the Brewing Projekt. For winter, it’s a snowy walk down Putnam Trail, coffee at Racy’s and perusing Dells Architectural – a jumble of treasures gutted from historic houses in EC. As for Sunday? The Mousetrap and Court n’ House serve free food for Packer games – thinks wings, hot beefs, taco dip – oh my!
Red's Mercantile is located at: 224 North Dewey Street Eau Claire, WI 54703