SAUK RAPIDS – A new shop featuring handmade and locally-sourced furniture and home décor is opening in downtown Sauk Rapids this weekend.

Nine Yards, owned and operated by builder/designer Andrew Schultz, is located at 111 Division Street. The specialty? Handcrafted goods, vintage items and farmhouse décor either made by Schultz or sourced from makers in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Schultz, a St. Cloud resident and elementary school teacher, says his love of creating things started “at a very young age.”

“I spent probably every weekend outside building this tree house that never ended,” he laughed. “I’d take anything I could find out of my dad’s garage – he worked in construction, so there was a never-ending supply of stuff and tools.”

As an adult, Schultz has designed and built items for family members, friends, colleagues – and himself – with the goal of being stylish and thrifty.

“I started trying to replicate things I had seen while I was out shopping, and then I’d figure out how to make it for less than it was selling for,” Schultz explained. “I think that resonates with a lot of people. So, I’ve kind of found myself helping people get the look that they want, but for a lot less money.”

Nine Yards has existed since 2017, but only on a pop-up basis at events around the St. Cloud area. Schultz, an elementary school teacher, calls it his “side hustle.”

“Each time (events) would end, I thought, ‘gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if I had a space myself?” he said. “Then I wouldn’t have to take everything down each time, and (the business) could kind of evolve over time.”

Schultz says furniture pieces tend to run about $100, and smaller decorative pieces range from $15 to $40.

“The methodology for that basically is – if it’s cute enough for my house, then it should hopefully be for someone else’s house, too,” Schultz explained. “And then, just thinking about what’s been popular in the past, or what family and friends have asked me to create for their homes – that tends to fall in line with what the general public likes, too.”

In addition to merchandise, Nine Yards will offer two do-it-yourself work stations for customers to either tackle construction projects or plant seeds.

“Right now, (the build bar) will have one project offering each month,” Schultz explained. “So, like a table tray, for example, but all the pieces are pre-set – you just have to assemble it. You’ll use one or two power tools or hand tools to put it together. So, there’s an interactive component.”

“The plant bar is the same kind of concept, but it features the seed of the month,” he added. “You get to choose your pot, fill it with soil, take it home and let it grow.”

Nine Yards will be open two weekends a month. In January, the store will be open this Saturday and Sunday, and again from Friday, Jan. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 31.

“It'll be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Schultz said. “But of course on Friday, I’m teaching during the day, so it’ll be open from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Fridays.”

Open hours on Saturday and Sunday will be 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Right now, Schultz says the roughly 800 sq. ft. space will only be able to hold five or six people at a time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“If it’s busy, like this weekend might be, there will have to be someone at the door tracking how many people come in,” Schultz said. “Obviously, we want people to come in and enjoy their time there, but we’ll also have to have kind of a natural flow to it.”

Follow Nine Yards on Facebook or Instagram to learn more.

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