The Mercantile 2019
Founder Kelli and Paul Kaufer
For the past 3 years, the Mercantile has continued to grow and flourish.
In the last few months we went through a large change and brought in a new partner to help with the operation and develop a growth plan that would help take the Mercantile to the next level, Mina Carlson.
Mina has been a loyal customer, turned friend and now partner brought an extensive background in business operation and development with over 20 years consulting organizations focusing on operational and cultural change.
Mina has not only built her own companies from the ground up and successfully sold them, she has led global organizations across all areas of Business and Technology. She has a passion for art and has always aspired to own her own art gallery.
Kelli and Paul Kaufer the Founders of Smith + Trade.
Kelli Kaufer, the Founder and one of the owners is also an Interior Designer. She's had her Design business for over 25 years. 15 years ago Kelli became a lead designer for HGTV and DIY television remodel shows, designing over 250 remodels. Designing for television was a challenge as each design had to be different from the next, in doing so, Kelli incorporated many artisan pieces into these designs. Over time Kelli got to know these artisans and realized they had a difficult time getting their goods out into the public.
3 years ago in 2019 Kelli opened Smith + Trade Mercantile to provide artisans the opportunity to jumpstart their business and build their brand in a shared workplace that offers a unique buying experience showcasing the best the region has to offer in curated, handcrafted goods. With the long term goal of supporting each other collaboratively with an expanded marketplace that is like no other - a market place built on the experience of the mercantile. With a shared goal of showcasing our Smiths and building their brand alongside the Smith and Trade brand.
Smith + Trade Mercantile
We put a face and a story to a handmade product and let the buyer identify and embrace why that person put such passion into their creation.
Smith: Denoting a person skilled in creating something with a specific material.
Trade: The business of buying and selling or bartering commodities; commerce.
Mercantile: A general store.
Our first and original retail location in beautiful downtown Stillwater, MN is located at 229 S Main Street - a half block from the breathtaking St. Croix river's edge. A building bursting with nostalgia, original wood flooring, high ceilings with metal ceilings, a front, back and side entrance and a outdoor patio for events and artisan collaboration. A beautiful historic setting.
Phone - 651-342-2976
Company mission statement
Smith + Trade Mercantile is representing the community of Craftsman, Artisans and Merchants that put passion into the products they provide.
Meet the Smith’s!
Our mission is to provide a retail brick and mortar experience supported by online marketing and eCommerce for Minnesota or St. Croix Valley merchants who want to showcase the best Minnesota has to offer.
Company philosophy and vision
Our Values include Community, Family Friendly, Giving Back, and Locally Hand Crafted.
Our Vision is to create an experience that can be replicated to other regions or cites that foster a cooperative environment between small businesses and community that is currently successfully modeled in Stillwater, MN.
Smith + Trade Mercantile would also like to expand on our vision and develop other areas of the company.
Our short term goal is to provide the artisans the opportunity to jumpstart their business and build their brand in a shared workplace that offers a unique buying experience showcasing the best the region has to offer in curated, handcrafted goods. With the long term goal of supporting each other collaboratively with an expanded marketplace that is like no other - a market place built on the experience of the mercantile. With a shared goal of showcasing our Smiths and building their brand alongside the Smith and Trade brand.
Locals, visitors, tourists. Young families who feel it’s important to shop local and support the local craftsmen in the area. Empty Nesters who love to travel, (maybe with their dog) sight see and embrace the communities they visit.