New businesses try Dinkytown market

The value-minded stores will compete in high-turnover climate for niche ventures.

Nina Petersen-Perlman

Dinkytown’s roster of businesses is ever-changing, with some departing and others coming to take their places.

This year discount emporium Dinkytown Dollar Store and clothes-and-jewelry boutique Urban Envy will try their luck at becoming community favorites.

Dinkytown Dollar Store

Dinkytown Dollar Store is in CD Warehouse’s formerly empty basement. Its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it door is nestled between that of the secondhand CD store and McDonald’s.

Store Manager Jayde Quigley said owners Bob and Greg Chelberg, who also own CD Warehouse, wanted to fill a perceived void in Dinkytown.

“There’s no hardware store, no drugstore,” she said. “We like House of Hanson, but it lacks space.”

Quigley said the store sells groceries, kitchen supplies and hardware items – all for a dollar or less.

Store employee Crystal Erickson, a University junior, explained that most of the products in the store come from companies that have been bought out by bigger brands. Thus the products end up being the same quality as their name-brand cousins, she said.

“A good example is the Femtex tampons,” Quigley said. “They’re the exact same thing as Kotex ones; they’re just way cheaper.”

Store employee Collin Oswald said people come in for one item and leave with armfuls.

“It’s good stuff,” he said. “Toilet paper, ramen – the whole damn store’s a sale.”

Urban Envy

Urban Envy, which sells new and used clothes, gifts and accessories, was transplanted from Coon Rapids, Minn., to the Dinkydale Mall and opened Saturday.

Shalyn Joygenson, 14, said she traveled from the Twin Cities suburb to the new store just to keep shopping there.

“It has really great clothes,” she said. A lot of people went to the store (in Coon Rapids). I missed it.”

Owner and Manager Liz Stigen said she travels the country and scours eBay looking for bargains for her store.

“This year I plan to go to places like Atlanta, New York and Mexico to shop for stuff,” Stigen said. “My daughter said our slogan should be, ‘I travel the world so you don’t have to.'”

Designers make jewelry just for her store so her customers can buy something unique, Stigen said.

Eventually she wants to follow in the footsteps of fellow Dinkytown secondhand clothing store Everyday People and buy students’ clothing, Stigen said. That probably won’t happen until after the first of the year, she said, because she has to apply for a license.