It was 10 years ago on March 3, 2011, that Lena Tronson opened The Smile Shop on Main Street and since then the store has doubled, not in size, but in customers and stock! In celebration of a decade of business Tronson will be featuring fun games daily, throughout the month of March, with prizes being gift cards and discounts.
“I have 10 different games and each day that I’m open in the month of March I will be playing one,” said Tronson. “Customers can win gift cards and discounts on their purchases.”
The Smiling Flower, Duck Pond, Treasure Chest Hunt and Red Solo Cup game are just a few of the fun games to be featured throughout the month of March.
When Tronson first opened the door to The Smile Shop, located at 215 Main Street in Shelby, it was a small hobby and craft store in competition for customers as Pamida and the Creative Needle also stocked various supplies along the same line. It wasn’t real well known and Tronson used to get numerous calls from people thinking she was a dentist office.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d make it 10 years,” said Tronson with a smile. “People used to call thinking I was a dentist, I was receiving rubber glove samples in the mail, people thought it was a dental office because of the name.”
After a year of being in business Tronson decided to expand her services, offering her talents as a seamstress to the community.
“It started out with hemming pants for people working out at the prison,” Tronson recalled. “Pretty soon I was hemming pants for the sheriff’s department and now it’s hemming and new zippers and alterations for everyone. The sewing part has boomed.”
When Pamida closed its doors Tronson recognized the opportunity for even more customers and upped her supplies and expanded her inventory. The store is now bursting with yarn, craft items, Rit Dye of every color, paints and canvases, Diamond Dot pictures and a multitude of other crafting supplies.
Jewelry, fixing it and creating it, has also been added to the services Tronson offers. With the added services and inventory has come added customers, some being regulars from as far as Power and Browning.
Her 10 years in business has seen its fair share of challenges, but the biggest one to date has been COVID-19. Tronson has managed to remain open through most of the pandemic, only being closed when mandated by the state to do so and a 14 day period when she was in quarantine, making masks and giving them away throughout the pandemic. She has also continued fulfilling sewing orders and providing all the essentials for any kind of crafting or hobby one might have or developed over the past year.
“My customers are the very best part,” smiled Tronson. “I truly enjoy all of them and getting to know them. Some come in to shop and visit while having a cup of coffee, I enjoy that, it’s a lot of fun.”
The fun only gets better throughout the month of March as Tronson celebrates a decade of business with her customers, those she already has and hopefully some new ones. The Smile Shop is open Tuesday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Be watching for The Smile Shop ad in the March 3 edition of The Promoter for more information on the anniversary games and sales.