Two of the four Bibelot stores set to close following the retirement of founder Roxy Freese will stay open after being bought by GoodThings.
The clothing, gift, home and toy retailer, which has stores in White Bear Lake and Maple Grove, has announced a merger with two of the Bibelot stores that were due to close next month with Freese's retirement.
The Bibelot shops at Grand Avenue, St. Paul, and Linden Hills, Minneapolis, will be renovated and revived as GoodThings stores, with grand re-openings planned for September this year.
Bibelot's St. Anthony and Northeast Minneapolis stores will still be closing, though Bibelot staff have been invited to apply for positions at the two that are staying open.
GoodThings owners, mother and son Sharon and Tyler Conrad, said that news of Freese's retirement prompted a discussion on how they could save "Bibelot's traditions and serve its communities in a similar spirit."
“What a natural fit it was for GoodThings to merge with Bibelot Shops,” said Tyler Conrad.
"Both stores were founded by local business women who were ahead of their time in sourcing distinctive, local, handmade and environmentally responsible goods," he added.
"We’re committed to combining the best of Bibelot and the best of GoodThings to carry on the legacy of offering the Twin Cities’ best selection of treasured gifts, clothing, and home décor."
The retiring Freese said: "I am delighted that GoodThings will be combining much of the Bibelot tradition with their own as they move into the future. It is truly a wonderful fit."
Anyone with a Bibelot gift card should be aware they're only valid until Thursday, Feb. 28, with Bibelot's current retirement sale due to continue over the next several weeks.
GoodThings was founded in 1973 by a then 22-year-old Sharon Conrad, starting off initially as Spanky's Emporium in the basement of a bank in White Bear Lake, before moving to a larger property and undergoing several name changes to become the brand it is today.
Tyler Conrad joined the team in 1998 and five years later it opened its second store at the Shoppes of Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove. it then expanded its White Bear Lake store in 2014, adding a clothing and activewear boutique, GoodStyle, next door.
In 2016, GoodKids became its third location in downtown White Bear Lake.
Freese, now 86, opened her first store in Saint Anthony Park in 1966, with Bibelot making its name for its range of women's clothing, accessories, toys, home accents and gifts.