Gatherings Collective, a new thrift store focused on fashion and sustainability, opens in downtown Fargo
Lauryn Schneider, a 2021 graduate of North Dakota State University, opened Gatherings Collective at 12 Broadway in July.
FARGO — Thrifting has always been a part of Lauryn Schneider's life. She fondly remembers visits to Once Upon a Child and the occasional garage sale around the Twin Cities with her Grandma Linda.
She admits thinking at times "It would be great to get something new," but as she grew older she began to appreciate her thrifting roots.
When it came time to launch a business as part of an entrepreneurial class she was taking at North Dakota State University, she decided to put her thrifting skills to use.
Schneider shared an idea she had for a curated thrift store with her fellow team members, and they decided to run with it.
While that business dissolved after college, Schneider was confident she had a winning idea.
She chose a new business name and brand and soon began selling secondhand clothing, accessories and home goods online. It went so well that she recently fulfilled her dreams of opening a brick-and-mortar store in downtown Fargo.
Schneider opened Gatherings Collective July 7 at 12 Broadway. She chose the name "Gatherings" because she wants the store to be a gathering place for those who "love sustainability and saving our earth."
"I named it Gatherings because I really think we as individuals come together over things we love, and I want this to be a place that people gather and come together over fun fashion and eclectic pieces and vintage design," she continued.
The store sells men's and women's clothing in a wide range of sizes, as well as a small selection of new and antique home goods and accessories.
Like a boutique, Schneider personally curates what she sells. Her goal is to feature classic pieces with "a lot of life left in them."
"I definitely like the idea of combining boutique-style shopping with affordable secondhand products," she said. "I think my love of vintage definitely carries into what I'm looking for. I love vintage clothing, vintage anything. I love taking older pieces and modernizing them and making them fit today."
She does accept donations and will donate anything she does not use to other charities and secondhand stores.
Among the home goods she sells are soy candles made by The Red Silo owners Bobbi Jo and Todd Cody.
Gatherings Collective opened in the space first occupied by The Red Silo when they opened in 2014. The Codys ultimately moved across the hall at 12 Broadway, where they continued operating their store until moving their retail business to the Moorhead Antique Mall in 2021. They do, however, still have studio space in the building, and that's how they met Schneider.
"My impression of Lauryn right out of the gate was that she is a go-getter. She's definitely passionate about sustainability and providing clothing and vintage home items to the community at a reasonable cost, and not having them end up in the landfill or someone's garage or basement," Bobbi Jo Cody said. "Passionate is probably the best word to describe her. She definitely knows what she wants to do and has a mission."
One of her missions is to get others enthusiastic about thrifting and sustainability.
"I don't think you should have to sacrifice a good shopping experience or finding good pieces in order to thrift. That's kind of why I wanted to incorporate the boutique aspect," she said. "I think anyone thrifting—whether they're low-income or want to be more sustainable or because you want to find unique, eclectic pieces—you shouldn't have to sacrifice a clean, fun, safe and welcoming environment."
She believes downtown Fargo is the perfect home for a store like hers. One of the reasons she chose to attend North Dakota State University was Fargo's downtown.
"I came up here and fell in love with the downtown community," she said. "Even as I continued to go to school and everything, I kept falling more and more in love with downtown. I wanted to bring something new to the area. There's such an eclectic mix of people within these few streets and I wanted to be a part of it."