A new second-hand store, just opened June 29, has a mission: to support people with multiple sclerosis.
Karla and Rich Guldseth of Wadena, the founders, created their store Endless Treasure as a way to give back to the MS Society. The store is next to Slumberland on Highway 29 in Alexandria, and the couple says that all of the store's profits will go to the society. The business will also provide vouchers to churches and shelters for discounts on clothing.
The Guldseths were foster care providers for 17 years, and did various other things throughout their lives, including running a dairy farm, a pizza restaurant, an automotive shop and six other businesses. But this is their last endeavor.
"Everything we've done has been service orientated, for the people," Rich said.
Nearing retirement within the next decade, the Guldseths are looking forward to seeing the world through travel, Karla said.
And what is the connection the Guldseths have to MS? Karla has been struggling with the unpredictable disease for the past 11 years.
"It means every day is a kind of mystery," Karla said. One day she might wake up and feel fine, and the next day she might take a shower and feel tired the rest of the day. "You must accept that there's a new normal in life."
In the 11 years since she has been diagnosed, she's been to almost every MS walk. Financially supporting the MS Society is important to Karla. "It's helping people past, present and future," she said.
The business is not an official nonprofit because the Guldseths haven't filled out the proper paperwork, and Karla said she is unsure whether the business will become an official nonprofit. As of right now, the couple is paying taxes and other costs out of pocket.
Karla said they've already received an overwhelming amount of donations for the store. "It's blown my mind, the amount of stuff donated. It really is an awesome thing to see."
The Guldseths looked into putting the location in Moorhead, because their children live there, or Fergus Falls. They ultimately went with Alexandria because of the steady traffic flow and because of how welcoming this area has seemed. They are considering moving to Alexandria.
"We've always really liked the Alexandria area," Karla said.
The building was also the ideal size. But the couple is not running the show alone. They have the help of Karla's mother, plus a volunteer from town, and hope to hire part-time workers. Karla said starting the business now seemed like the way to go.
"Sometimes the time is just right, and you go ahead," she said.