OCHEYEDAN—Bev Bjork welcomes people to come and check out her eclectic collection of items for sale.
The 63-year-old rural Ocheyedan woman owns The Shed On The Farm, a new business offering antiques, vintage items, pottery, home decor and specialty art made out of metal.
“I just collect things that I kind of like,” Bjork said. “If I see something I like, I tend to just buy it and enjoy it.”
The business is located on the same property where she and her 66-year-old husband, Ray, live at 6281 160th St., located less than a mile west of Ocheyedan.
“We do a lot of yard art,” Bjork said. “We make up a lot of garden art with old machinery. We try to repurpose a lot of things. He makes a lot of the stuff.
“We just got into making these things and that’s been fun,” she said. “It’s something that you can kind of do together and see what you’ve made when you’re done.”
She and her husband — a diesel mechanic for D&K Transportation, a neighbor of theirs — bought the shed in which her business is located and had the building reconstructed near their home.
The inside and outside of the 12-by-32-foot structure — located on top of an old hog barn concrete floor — is covered with miscellaneous objects that the couple have collected and/or repurposed.
One popular item at the business recently has been lamps made out of old meat grinders, with vintage colanders and strainers for shades.
“It takes a while to find those certain pieces,” Bjork said. “It actually can be a while to find the right pieces to make the right lamp.”
She has been a collector of various objects since childhood. Pottery and home decor are passions of hers.
“I’ve always liked collecting things,” Bjork said. “It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed. I liked piggy banks when I was in grade school. I used to collect batons; I was a baton twirler a long time ago.”
The former owner of The Consignment Depot, a thrift and consignment store in Okoboji that no longer exists, enjoys the convenience of having her own business near her home, which features a backyard full of mostly homemade artwork.
“I was still working full time at that time,” Bjork said. “I was working 60 hours a week. I thought I could do this at home and not have any rent. I could just dabble in what I like to do at home.”
In addition to selling her items at her business’ location near Ocheyedan, she also has been a part-time vendor for nearly four years at Antiques Etc. in Milford.
The part-time Ocheyedan Public Library director spends many of her weekends searching for collectible items at auctions, garage sales and thrift stores that can be repurposed into potential artwork pieces.
“You’ve got to kind of keep your inventory fresh and change it up,” Bjork said. “The locals have been coming out and checking it out.”
In addition to having people she knows stop by to visit her business, she has had customers from Orange City, Sioux Center and other places across the region who have seen her advertise her objects on Facebook or in ad publications.
Bjork’s business had a soft opening a couple of days before Christmas last year, but she considers its grand opening to have been Memorial Day weekend.
She has enjoyed cleaning up and gathering merchandise for her business and interacting with people who have stopped by to visit and peruse her collection.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Bjork said. “It’s been good for me. It’s been a lot of fun.”