Sanborn’s Store Has Crafts, Donated Goods | News
SANBORN—Karen Onken has turned her coronavirus pandemic hobby into a downtown destination for crafts, coffee and treasures in Sanborn.
She opened her store, A Place in Time, in late October at 110 Main St.
The space offers a wide range of decorative items that Onken produces itself as well as donated goods such as clothing, furniture, puzzles, books, video tapes, kitchen accessories, tableware and more.
The store also offers drinks such as coffee, apple cider and hot cider to visitors.
“I started making crafts during COVID for therapy, and pretty soon I had bags full of homemade crafts,” Onken said. “I had a booth in Cherokee for a while at an antique store. It just didn’t work and it was too far.
She set up a booth at the vendor’s fair during the Railroad Days celebration last summer in Sanborn. Onken then spoke to Bert Van Dam, owner of the Locomotion Lanes bowling alley, about his desire to open a store to sell his crafts.
He helped her move into the previously vacant 110 Main St. — which is owned by one of his sons — and Onken opened on Oct. 30.
The site previously housed Roth TV & Appliance, which is what Onken remembers of the building from growing up in the O’Brien County community.
Later in the building’s history, it contained an automobile shop and was an opera house before that.
“The most important thing is that Lawrence Welk played here. It’s pretty cool,” Onken said.
Its goal is to keep its inventory prices affordable while generating enough revenue to pay for utilities.
“A lot of people have asked me to do consignment, but right now we want to donate to keep prices low,” she said.
Onken plans to use proceeds from the donated items to help Sanborn’s summer youth recreation program.
“We have baseball and different things. And I want to do arts and crafts for young people this summer when school is out and do rock painting and different crafts with them,” she said.
A Place in Time does not accept donations of electronic devices but will accept certain devices. Onken said she likes to do “treasure scrap redo” on old items and will accept customer requests to make specialty craft items.
“I love this challenge,” she said.
Onken previously worked as a nurse in various communities in N’West Iowa, such as Hartley, Sheldon, and Sibley. She and her husband, Roger, and their sons lived in Sioux Falls, SD, before that, where Onken also worked as a nurse.
“I had health issues and couldn’t work anymore, so it allows me to work at my own pace,” she says.
The store is only open part-time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. However, Onken is often in the store on Mondays and Tuesdays doing crafts and leaves the door open in case customers want to stop inside.
“If I’m here, I’m not closed. I will not turn anyone away,” she said.
She looks forward to welcoming new customers to A Place in Time as more people discover the store’s presence in town. She described business so far as slow, but “otherwise everything is going well and smoothly”.
“I just need people to know that we can take donations, that people in town don’t have to go out of town when they want to clean out their closets. They can bring it to town.