Local businesses offer variety downtown


Downtown business owners accentuate Brookings in similar but different ways.

Downtown contains not only the traditional student favorites of Nick’s Hamburgers, George’s Pizza and the Lantern Lounge, but also some surprising busi­nesses that may go unnoticed by the average student.

Two of those businesses are: Trendz, a consignment clothing store focused on reusing fash­ionable clothing, and the Brook­ings Book Company (BBC), which is unique because it spe­cializes in books that are rare or out of print.

Trendz started as a children’s recycled clothing store in 2005. Within in a few years, the store had moved, doubled in size and expanded to two locations, one for children and another for teens and adults. In 2009, the two loca­tions merged into the store’s cur­rent location at 314 Main Ave. and now serves over 4000 clients.

Sara Roland, the owner and manager of Trendz, started the business for several reasons.

“I wanted to create a retail-like environment for recycling clothes,” Roland said. “I wanted people to come in here and be proud that they’re saving money and not feel like they have to set­tle for less.”

Trendz holds itself to a high standard of quality.

“Our policy has always been that we accept the best so that (our customers) can expect the best,” Roland said. “All of the items we sell here are hand selected by our staff and ulti­mately by me.”

Another feature of Trendz is it’s local artist boutique or LAB.

“It’s something I’m really pas­sionate about,” Roland said. “There’s a lot of people I’ve met that are stay at home moms and they’re incredibly creative. So I thought ‘lets just have a place inside my store that offers a mini business for them.’ It gives peo­ple in our community a place to buy local hand made stuff.”

The Brookings Book Company has been around since 1998 and in downtown since 2004. There are nearly 40,000 titles in its inventory, ranging from the most popular paperback best sellers to foreign language books and antiques.

Richard Johnston, the store’s owner spoke about the store.

“We carry primarily used books, we have an extensive selection of comic books and graphic novels also. We try to carry books on all topics with a few exceptions like travel guides and computer manuals,” He said.

One thing that sets the BBC apart from similar businesses is its collection of comic books and graphic novels.

“We do a lot of comic book and graphic novel business with col­lege students,” Johnston said. “We offer a subscription service; we pull the comic out so the cus­tomer can just come in to the store and pick it up.”

Joshua Bell, a former employee, current customer and friend of the store, said that the comics and graphic novels have a spe­cial place at the BBC.

“In the first week of every May they (the BBC) has a free comic book day,” he said. “This year there’s going to be people dressed up in costumes, and cake too.”

Downtown Brookings has a lot more to offer students than just night life. The stores and restau­rants are all well worth a visit.