[caption id="attachment_2062" align="alignnone" width="198" caption="Pam Olson - Photo by Jessica Sauck"]
Name: Pam Olson
Weathered and Worn
120 S. Main St.
Blue Earth, MN
After years working in various office positions, Pam Olson was looking for something new. “I knew I could decorate, and I love to arrange things. Plus, I love to shop,” she says. “So when I told my husband, Craig, that I wanted to open a shop he said, ‘go for it.’” Pam wanted a shop that complemented other stores and had a downtown feel. Knowing she loved spending time shopping in Blue Earth, she decided to open there. Her store, Weathered and Worn
, offers treasures from the past along with farmhouse and primitive furniture, handmade items, bedding and linens and gift items. “I'm not 100 percent sure where this journey is going, but I do know sometimes you just need to be strong and follow your dreams,” Sue says.
When did you first become interested in starting this business?
I worked for 32 years in the same environment and sometimes you have obstacles, either personal or professional. During those times I would dream of things I could do. I usually saw more things wrong with my ideas, but I always came back to the idea of having my own shop. So when I had to make a decision about my future, opening a shop had the most pros!
When did you start the business?
My shop opened May 16, 2011.
Who has been your greatest mentor and why?
I was so determined to open my shop and prove myself I did not seek a mentor. I made many lists of questions and spent hours on the computer. My support system grew from family to several women in Blue Earth. They love what I offer and the opportunity for another shop to be in Blue Earth. Ruth McNearney and Kathy Haase have been awesome in offering resources for information, friendship and an ear for listening. They are super at keeping my spirits up.
What advice do you have for anyone starting a business?
I’ve talked to so many people over 45 that thought they would never lose their jobs. I’ve learned nothing’s forever. Everything now days requires some sort of schooling. Prepare yourself. The business spectrum is so large – from owning your own shop to marketing a product you’ve developed. Research it – learn the rules and regulations. Find a support system. Take courses if needed. Pick out what you love, and you should be able to move quickly.
What makes your business enjoyable for you?
Doing what I love: decorating, looking for treasures, researching, the auctions, the people.
Is there anything you would change about it?
Not one thing.
What sets your business apart from the competition?
I don’t have any competition in Blue Earth – I chose Blue Earth for that reason, but I also wanted to be in a downtown setting. I wanted to complement other shops – I love to mix old and new, and we have that here.
The best part about my job is…
Hearing how much the people love the shop and how I’ve put it together. I love the people and the friendships I’ve made.
The worst part about my job is…
I buy things from people – telling them I’m not interested or it’s not worth what they want for it. Also, waking up at 2 am thinking of things that need to be done or things I can do.
My long term goal is…
Keep being debt free.
The biggest obstacles have been …