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AROUND TOWN: Home décor shop to open downtown

It began a few years ago when Lisa Johnson and her son Dalton Lilley, 21, noticed a couple picnic tables online. They picked them up, added a new coat of paint, refurbished them and sold them at a garage sale.

Then they realized they made a pretty good team.

“We just kept buying pieces and it kind of took off,” Johnson said. They started selling their work at flea markets and had a booth at Gerties on South Washington Street.

Now, the two are bringing Living Sage Home Boutique to downtown Grand Forks. Johnson said they are hoping to open the store in time for the Grand Cities Art Fest in mid-June.

They haven’t finalized details on their move, Johnson said, so she didn’t want to reveal their specific location.

Johnson said the shop will sell new and refurbished furniture, as well as a Country Chic Paint, a “chalk-and-mineral-based paint that is specifically designed for DIYers with a love for refinishing furniture and home décor,” the paint company’s website says. Refurbished furniture sold at Living Sage will have the Country Chic Paint, Johnson said.

 Johnson said they may also purchase items from other people in the area and sell them at the store “to keep up with inventory.”

Concierge business

Melody Colucci knows the feeling of wanting to make a simple phone call to take care of the little things that take up so much time, the thought of “My gosh, I don’t want to bundle up these kids and take them to store just to buy diapers,” she said.

Now she has put herself on the other end of the phone call.

Two weeks ago she launched her business Mel on Wheels, a personal concierge service to run errands and fetch easy-to-get stuff that would just be easier for someone else to run after: a roll of stamps, treats for a party or even, as one client requested, goodies for an Easter basket.

“I’ll stand in line at Widman’s for you” Colucci said.

For most errands she charges a $5 fee, but prices go up for more complicated orders.

So far, Colucci has found some regular customers from local offices and businesses. While the jobs are small, they also help make customers’ days a little less hectic, she said

“It’s much easier for me to pick up their dry cleaning and be home by 5.”

More information about her service is on her Facebook page, at

Boutique open

Curious, a boutique specializing in gifts, décor, jewelry, accessories and other items, opened Thursday at 3750 32nd Ave. S. in Grand Forks.

The store’s spot in the Menard’s strip mall was formerly occupied by one of two Ferguson Books and Media stores in town. That store and the Ferguson location in Columbia Mall merged into one store in a new location in the Grand Cities Mall at 1720 S. Washington St.

Send business tips to Bjorke at and (701) 780-1117 or to Hageman at or (701) 780-1244.