Talking to Springfield Mercantile Co.'s New Owner Katie Shelton

With Katie Shelton now at the helm, Springfield Mercantile Co. is back open during regular business hours. You’ll find several of the same home goods on the shelves alongside some new pieces.

By Tessa Cooper

Mar 2024

Katie Shelton
Photo by Tessa CooperFormer customer Katie Shelton purchased Springfield Mercantile Co. from Molly Brown in September 2023. Purchase Photo

When Springfield Mercantile Co. (326 E. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-831-8131) opened in 2017, it quickly amassed a loyal band of regulars who were always on the lookout for aesthetic and high-quality versions of utility goods. Wooden brooms, fluffy feather dusters, European linen cloths with high thread counts and eco-friendly cleaning products lined the shelves. But following the COVID-19 pandemic, former owner Molly Brown switched to an online and by-appointment-only business model. While the storefront remained beautiful, the doors stayed locked for the most part. But now, when you stroll by Springfield Mercantile on Commercial Street Wednesday through Saturday, you’ll notice a fresh window display and something even more exciting: an open sign. 

In September 2023, Brown approached former customer Katie Shelton about the possibility of purchasing Springfield Mercantile. Shelton was surprised at the offer, but after giving it some thought, her answer was obvious. “Opening a [brick-and-mortar] shop was not only not on my 2023 punch card, but not on my life punch card,” Shelton says. “It was something that I didn’t realize was a dream of mine until it was presented to me, and the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I just knew I could bring it to life and make it happen.”

This isn’t Shelton’s first venture into entrepreneurship. She’s been self-employed for about 15 years ever since she started an Etsy business, Skunk Boy, which previously sold soft sculptures. She and her husband, Johnny, are also part owners of Sweet EMOtion and in their free time members of the 90s cover band, The Mixtapes. 

Shelton chose to keep the majority of the best-selling mercantile products in stock, such as wool dryer balls, brushes by German-based brand Bürstenhaus Redecker and Meliora Cleaning Products. However, she’s also been adding her own spin to the shop, and you’ll notice home decor dispersed throughout, such as dried flower bouquets by Idlewild Floral, colored glass taper candle holders by MÆGEN and book nooks featuring intricate diorama scenes by Hands Craft. 

The shop is not her only tie to North Springfield either. “We live right around the corner in Midtown, and the place we come the most is Commercial Street,” she says. “There’s so much stuff down here, and everyone has something different to offer. Just being part of that community already has been amazing. I’m excited to bring offerings that help make people happy, and to also educate people on a cleaner living.”

“When I told [Brown] that I was planning to keep the shop’s name and her vision the same while still making it my own, I could tell she was very excited,” Shelton says. “It was such a beautiful store to begin with, so I didn’t need to come in and just change everything. This shop has been loved by the community for years and years.”

Springfield Mercantile Co.
Photos by Tessa CooperSpringfield Mercantile Co. features a wide variety of home goods, self-care products and colorful handmade clothing. Purchase Photo
Sage bundles
Photos by Tessa CooperThe carefully curated selection of home goods includes lavender and sage bundles to help clear the air. Purchase Photo
Photos by Tessa CooperA variety of self-care products available for purchase at Springfield Mercantile Co. Purchase Photo

What You Can Find at Springfield Mercantile

Sewn With Love

You’ll find linen aprons and even some handmade clothing and bags by Shelton in the shop. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to glean some of her skills via sewing and craft classes.

Home Care Meets Self-Care

Springfield Mercantile still stocks cleaning products and tools but also an expanded selection of everything you need for an at-home spa night. Think bath bombs and mineral soaks, satin pillowcases and face masks. Several of the items Shelton carries are from other small, women-owned businesses, such as dry shampoo by Bohemia and candles by Paro Home.

Take Note

The shop’s collection of elevated everyday items like Blackwing Pencils with refillable erasers, journals and gum erasers make even ordinary list-making a task to enjoy.

Clear the Air

Candles aren’t the only thing meant to be burned in the shop. Lavender and sage bundles make for beautiful decor between uses. 

A Nod to the Old

When you walk into the store, on your left you’ll notice a display of many familiar mercantile products like dish towels, bars of soap, toothbrushes and small and large brooms. Many of the cleaning tools in the shop are by Bürstenhaus Redecker. This German-based brand has been producing brushes from natural and sustainable materials since 1935.

Cabinets of Curiosity 

Shelton purchased some of the store’s display furniture from Brown but added her own signature style. She found this shelf in the store’s closet and added the decorative decal on top to make an artsy backdrop to show off dish towels from Botanica, felt garland and colorful candlesticks.

Dress Up Your Home

Opposite the mercantile side of the store, you can peruse a colorful collection of curated new home decor pieces.