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Kelli and Paul Kaufer the Founders of Smith + Trade.

Founder, curator, and interior designer Kelli Kaufer opened the store in 2019.
As a Lead Designer for HGTV and DIY television Kelli designed over 250 remodel shows over 15 years. Designing for TV required Kelli to create spaces that were trend setting and unique.
 To accomplish this, she incorporated custom artisan pieces as inspirations for her designs. Working with these artisans Kelli realized it was difficult for them to showcase their craft to the public and build a following – this was where the store concept was conceived.

In 2019, Smith + Trade Mercantile became a reality with help from her husband Paul. Her goal: provide artisans an opportunity to jumpstart their business and build their brand alongside the Smith + Trade brand.

The concept grew, even through COVID, and in 2022 the Merc moved to a larger space and grew from 40 to over 100 Smiths.

Our plan is to plant other Smith + Trade Mercantile's around the state of Minnesota to support their local maker community.

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.

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.

A half block from the breathtaking St. Croix river's edge. A building bursting with nostalgia, original wood flooring, high metal ceilings, brick exterior with accent historic trim. An outdoor patio for events and artisan collaboration.
 A beautiful historic setting.

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.

Company goals
Our short term goal is to provide the artisans the opportunity to jumpstart their business and build their brand, together.
Our 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.
Our shared goal of showcasing our Smiths, building their brand alongside the Smith and Trade brand. 

We connect the Smith (Maker) with customers through creative merchandising including personalized placards, videos, and story cards.
Smiths can be seen working their craft in the store and sharing their story with customers.

Each month we hold events offering food, music and make-and-take crafts for our customers to enjoy as they shop. We go beyond shopping and offer in-store classes and host charity events after hours.