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STILLWATER, Minn. - A Stillwater shopkeeper is taking advantage of an empty store in hopes of tapping into a growing trend.

Jeff Anderson bought a prime downtown building more than two years ago. With the purchase, he inherited a tenant next door, who abruptly left in October.

"As a shopkeeper here in town, I hate seeing other storefronts vacant cause it's just kind of a drag on the whole group of us," Anderson said.

ArtReach St. Croix, a nonprofit that connects local artists to the greater community, quickly moved into the space.

"The conversation started on Monday and by Friday we were calling artist to have them deliver their work," said Executive Director Heather Rutledge.

Customers have been noticing the pop-up store.

"First, they're really surprised and they say, 'We didn't see this before, when did this happen?'"

Rutledge calls the move a win-win. Her organization gets the space for free for the holiday season and artists like Karen Ingelbretson can get more exposure here than they could on their own.

"You'd have to do three or four different events to see this many potters or this many visual artists and glass and sculptures that's represented here," she said.

ArtReach already had plans for a holiday gallery to host 20 artists. The new space allowed them to expand to 35.

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