Down Home General Store
Downtown Bismarck is growing and becoming a “hot spot” in our community. Within the past ten years countless restaurants, businesses, and stores have made their home in downtown Bismarck. In March 2019, Down Home General Store did just the same. Down Home General Store is a boutique store that sells home décor and local products. This past week, I had the pleasure of talking with store owner Brenda Ternes.
With over 30 years in the furniture and decorating business, Brenda’s inspiration, passion and expertise can be seen throughout the store. You will find all sorts of décor including kitchen, living room, fall, Christmas, and so much more. The best part is that most of it is locally made! In my conversation with Brenda, she told me that she has about 20 consignors who make the home décor, lotions, bath soap, purses, and much more. Even Pride of Dakota items can be found in the store.
In addition to all those amazing products, DallasLee Boutique can be found in the corner of the store, owned by her daughter, LoRetta.
I was intrigued by the name Down Home General Store. I asked Brenda how she came up with the name. She told me “although I have had other names running through my head, I was listening to the radio. The song Down Home by Alabama was on. As I was singing along, it hit me that was exactly the perfect name. That’s how I want my store to feel. Like home. The intent of the name and the store itself, is that you feel at home when you come in. I had a customer tell me that she feels happy when she comes in. That is exactly what I had in mind when I started the process. I want my customers to feel comfortable and at home. Like coming home to mom’s house.”
She nailed it right on the head! The moment I walked into the store, I immediately felt at home. I was greeted by Brenda, offered a flavored coffee of the day, and instantly fell in love with the feel and local products of the store.
Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. Many trials, hardships, mistakes, and risks arise. I asked Brenda, “what has been the biggest obstacle for you in starting your own business?” Her response? “Being unknown.” I can see how small-town family owned stores have a hard time keeping up with big chain stores in advertising. The great thing about Bismarck is the community support of small boutiques and locally owned businesses. The one mistake Brenda told me she wished she could change would be “starting sooner. I love the quote by Mark Twain that says ‘twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.’ You just have to do it. That would be my advice to any entrepreneur thinking of starting their own business.”
To wrap up my interview, I asked Brenda what her long-term goals are. She told me a bigger space and adding a coffee and sandwich shop are in her future plans for Down Home General Store, adding to the already at-home feel.
With the holidays coming up, you are sure to find the perfect gift and decorations for your home at Brenda’s boutique! I definitely recommend stopping in the store for yourself! You will not be disappointed. Down Home General Store and DallasLee Boutique also invite you to their Christmas Open House for a fun and festive Christmas celebration full of shopping and holiday cheer!
Friday, November 8, 11:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday, November 9, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Address: 214 E Main Ave, Bismarck
Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs 11 am – 6 pm; Sat 10 am – 5 pm