Nestled behind Amboy’s only market, customers enter into the recently-opened home goods store, an unusual sight for the area of about 1,000 residents.
Megan Helmers and Maggie Bellikka, both Amboy residents, welcomed around 100 guests to Finch + Yarrow on July 30 during their grand opening event.
The shop features four local vendors, with the youngest seller being 10-years-old, along with products from the owners. Items range in type but follow modern, bohemian and retro styles.
While browsing through the store, customers can find potted succulents, wall art, candles, clothing, jewelry and other products.
Customers can stop in to pick up gifts or pieces to “spice” up their living spaces, Bellikka said.
Helmers didn’t picture herself as a business owner, but after a career of taking care of elderly patients as a certified nursing assistant, she wanted to try something new.
“It just got too hard,” she said. “I had to make a switch.”
Bellikka, on the other hand, also operates a screenprinting business from home that she started in 2015.
Helmers met her business partner when she was taking care of Bellikka’s grandfather about three years ago. Their friendship has grown ever since and when the building was put up for sale, the two decided to start a shop together. Bellikka bought the building in March.
The duo brainstormed names for the business for weeks. Almost on the brink of exhaustion, Bellikka said, “I’ll pick a word and you pick a word, and that’ll be our name.”
Helmers chose the word yarrow because of a plant that has flower stalks and feathery green leaves. Bellikka decided to go with the word finch because she admires the Washington state bird, the Goldfinch.
“It doesn’t really have any meaning behind it really,” Bellikka said. “But it just felt right.”
After a little more than a week of operating, she said the reaction from the community was mostly positive, with some residents surprised to see a home decor shop in their town.
“An older gentleman came in and was very floored when he walked through the door,” she said. “He did a little loop around, and he came back to say ‘You know, you’re in Amboy, right?’”
Regardless, a steady flow of foot traffic has shown the co-owners that the shop is what residents were looking for, Bellikka said.
Like many other industries, the shop owners faced shortages when ordering products for their business because of the pandemic.
Some of their orders would take upwards of four months for delivery, while others would arrive in just one week.
“You just have to make do with what you can get ordered,” Bellikka said. “We try to get as many different suppliers and local products as possible.”
Helmers learned some insider information from her mother, who also owns a home decor store in Minnesota called Market 12.
When her mother switched shop buildings, Helmers went to assist her. She enjoyed her time organizing the products, which persuaded her to join Bellikka’s business venture.
Bellikka grew up in Yacolt then moved to South Dakota with her husband, Tyson, for about seven years before coming back to her hometown.
Helmers spent her childhood mostly in Amboy then moved around Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming. She moved back three years ago.
Finch + Yarrow is open Tuesday through Saturday. For the shop’s full hours, visit the Finch + Yarrow Facebook page or website at finchandyarrow.com.