Young store owner opens eclectic shop in Dinkytown

by Robyn Repya

Lava lamps, notebooks, hair gel and Slinkys are just a few knickknacks that can be found at Dinkytown’s newest store, This & That.

In fact, the store seems to have almost everything but antiques, which is fitting since its owner, Katrina Mau, is only 19.

“She’s always wanted to own her own business,” said Terrie Mau, mother of the young entrepreneur. “She’s worked since she was old enough to answer the phone and take appointments.”

The store, which is like a cross between a drug store and a tanning salon, has the official support of Dinkytown: Dan Zielske, president of the Dinkytown Business Association, said Mau’s young age will be an asset to the small business community because she can easily follow trends “with hip stuff.”

Some owners have had stores in Dinkytown forever, Zielske said, and a range in owner age will keep the area vital. He said the store can sell almost anything by virtue of its name.

Although some people might be skeptical a person under 20 could or would want to run a business, Mau isn’t deterred.

“People look at me like I just work here and are surprised when I tell them I own it,” she said.

The store is on Fourth Street between 13th and 14th avenues. Terrie Mau, who has worked in Dinkytown for 27 years, owns International Style and Tan, which left a vacancy when it recently moved one space over. Mau now subleases that spot from her mother.

And Zielske likes that one-two punch. “Everybody likes Terrie and (Katrina), and wants them to succeed.”

Terrie Mau said that although she doesn’t doubt her daughter will succeed, she worries Katrina might not have the chance to enjoy her youth.

Katrina Mau worked at the Dinkytown’s Cardvaark for a year and a half before it closed.

“The Cardvaark was so forty and up,” she said. “My goal was to get something more age-appropriate in here.”

And she said she thinks her store will fit well in the neighborhood. “Ever since we lost the drug store, there hasn’t been a place for necessities and school stuff,” she said.

Ena Englund, a junior apparel design student shopping in the store, said she was attracted to the array of tanning beds and cheap prices.

Katrina Mau said she plans to broaden her merchandise with the eventual addition of cosmetics and pants, which she makes herself.

She wants to sell her own artwork, saying there is nowhere in the neighborhood to display art.

“I’m also going to bring in henna. I’d like to actually be doing it, instead of just selling it,” Mau said.

Katrina Mau said she had a lot of support getting the store started:

“I just wanted to get something everybody could enjoy.”

 

Robyn Repya covers East Bank neighborhoods and welcomes comments at [email protected]