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1948 Trading Co. reopens in more visible location
Brother adds handcrafted, wood furniture gallery
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

April 23. 2014 9:24AM
The 1948 Trading Company has a new home - and some new offerings.

Owners Matt and Leah Jorgenson have moved the gift shop-framing-home decor store from the Cedar Place Plaza to a more visible location at 721 N. Splitrock Blvd.

And they’ve added something more, a furniture gallery featuring one-of-a-kind pieces made from reclaimed wood by Tim Jorgenson, Matt’s younger brother.

“It was always our intent to move to this location,” Matt said. “Owning the building and its location was a perfect fit, but it just happened to be the middle of winter when we purchased the store, and we wanted people to get used to our face and get through the Christmas season first.”

The building has been in the Jorgenson family since 1984, when Matt’s father, Joel, first put up the all-concrete building for another family business, Sioux Marble.

This week, the owners will celebrate the store’s grand reopening with a Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. on Thursday and a grand reopening this Saturday complete with door prizes, special sales and free grilled hotdogs.

While the store is in a new location, Matt said customers will see much of the familiar 1948 Trading Company offerings. “One of the things that both my wife and I loved about the store, and why we purchased it, was the uniqueness of the gifts. We really want to keep that theme the same.”

So shoppers will continue to find much of the familiar jewelry, gift items, coffee, home decor and framing options.

Moving from 2,000 square feet to 3,200, Matt said they’re now able to offer more in the kid’s section, including baby gifts, books and more games and toys for kids.

Also new to the store is Tim Jorgenson’s furniture gallery, which has a room dedicated to the one-of-a-kind hand-crafted furniture and home decor made from reclaimed wood.

“Otherwise, it’s just the location and spreading everything out,” Matt said. “We just wanted to make this a really nice, enjoyable shopping experience. Everything is really spread out without feeling crowded, so we’re really encouraged by that.”

Tim Jorgenson describes the store as having a “mercantile feel to it.”

While that’s evident in the familiar 1948 Trading Company signage and awnings, inside the doors is a one-of-a-kind checkout counter made by Matt himself. The counter and back wall, which has The 1948 Trading Company logo engrained on it, was made from wood torn out of a hayloft.

“The barn was built in 1943, and so this is just a product of age,” Matt says. The laminate countertop, called, “petriefied wood,” was found for them, he said.

“This building is part of our being,” says Cindy Jorgenson, Matt’s mother. “It’s certainly more attractive than when it was DeKalb.”

One other change to the store is extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays, Leah said. The store will be open 10 a.m to 7 p.m. both days.

“We’ve had a lot of people ask for us to be open later,” she said.

Dave Howard, who leases space in the building for his business, Dakota Falls Winery, may also be pulled into the store on occasion. Leah said they hope to team up with Howard in some future endeavors.

“We’re hoping to do some wine tastings and to have an ‘event kind of thing’ once a month,” she said. “In March we were going to have a scarf-tying class, but with the move and getting this ready, we pushed that off.”
Splitrock Furniture
Tim Jorgenson built a bench two years ago for his son.

And that is how Splitrock Furniture was born.

Tim, takes reclaimed wood from barns, for example, and turns them into one-of-a-kind furniture and home decor.

“It’s taking somebody else’s junk and turning it into something,” he said. “Everything from dining tables to boxes to candle holders to planters, little stuff, wall hangings.”

Until now, Tim sold had his hand-crafted wares at quarterly, weekend sales.

“Every piece is its own thing,” he said. “There’s not two of anything alike with the exception of the beer caddies and wine boxes that I make, which are still all different but made from the same plan.”

Sales have been good, as Tim’s unique designs aren’t on the sales floor long. “People seem to like the idea of not having junk be junk,” he said. “And they like the idea of reclaimed.”

The Jorgensons, as a whole, are elated a family business continues to operate in the all cement structure.

“This space needed something, and it got something. It’s fantastic,” Tim said. “Actually, to be honest, Brandon needed something like this. I was asked a while back, ‘Why do people come to Brandon.’ I said, ‘Because they have good schools,’ and they said, ‘That’s why people move to Brandon. Why do they come to Brandon?’ ”

The Jorgensons hope their presence on Splitrock Boulevard (Highway 11) will complement two other shopping destinations in the city, The Warehouse and Oakridge Nursery & Landscaping.

“With any luck, there will be more businesses up and down the street that will make people want to come to Brandon,” Tim said. “This street takes you to Oakridge Nursery on that end and to The Warehouse on the other. ... This is the start of something neat.”

Adds Matt: “This town is just ripe for a destination shopping experience. Oakridge and The Warehouse has their experience and we’re hoping to add our flavor as well.”

Leah and Matt Jorgenson have relocated The 1948 Trading Company from its Cedar Street location to 721 N. Splitrock Blvd. They're standing in front of a wooden-plank wall Matt made from refurbished wood taken from a hayloft. Photo by Jill Meier

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