ABOUT INSPIRED

OUR MISSION

Our mission at Inspired is to provide solutions to shop responsibly and give thoughtfully through products derived from replenishable resources. We want to partner with neighbors, community leaders and area businesses to foster a sustainable future.

Inspired is located in historic downtown New Ulm, MN.  Our two-story building features an array of hand-selected gifts.  As you enter our front door, you will find a host of displays with seasonal and home décor including clocks, lamps, picture frames, linens and so many more everyday use items.  Towards the back of the store, you will see a variety of kitchen products, including gadgets, aprons and cookbooks.

Half of our main floor is filled with women’s clothing in a variety of styles, prices and sizes ranging from 4-18.  Some of our main brands are Tribal, Habitat, Parsley & Sage, Slimsation, Mud Pie, Focus, Coobie and more. We have a vast selection of jewelry and accessories to complete your look too!

Your trip to Inspired isn’t complete without a visit to our second floor where you will find our Inspired Floral department of custom permanent botanicals.  There are bereavement and inspirational gifts, in addition to religious gifts for Confirmation, First Communion, and Baptism.

You won’t want to miss our ever-growing children’s department filled with books, toys, games, plush animals and baby gifts. Depending on the season, you will find boys & girls clothing up to 5T.

Every year in late October, we transform our store and begin putting up our 9+ themed Christmas trees.  In September and November, we hold a series of decorating workshops for the fall and holiday seasons. Check out our Event Page for more details.

Inspired: Where Tradition Is Combined With New Ideas.

HOW WE GIVE BACK

Throughout the year, Inspired sponsors events and gives donations for silent auctions that benefit various organizations. 

In honor of our 1st anniversary in 2018, a portion of all sales during the month of April were donated to Flandrau for a gift totaling over $1,800.  This same promotion in 2019, allowed us to donate over $1,800 to the Southern Minnesota Crisis Nursery.

In 2018, we decided to sponsor the United Way kickoff campaign – Give United Live United.  At Inspired, we value the work the United Way of the Brown County Area does to support members of our county, especially the youth programs.

ABOUT THE OWNER

Christina Schwab was born and raised on a farm in southwestern Minnesota.  Her husband, Randy, is a dairy farmer, and they have two children who can often be found in the store helping their mom.  Upon graduating college from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, Christina held banking jobs in lending, customer service and as an investment rep. She later went to work for a State Farm agent but her dream of owning her own gift business was never far from her mind.  When the New Ulm Area Chamber hosted a series of seminars geared towards business start-ups, she didn’t have anything to lose by gaining more information.  Little did she know that these seminars would ignite her passion, and she began to pursue the prospect of opening her own business.

Christina believes it is important to stay connected to her community.  She is a member of the Small Business Owners Group, Downtown Action Team, and Oakwood Church.  She currently serves on the board of the Farm City Hub Club, New Ulm Business and Retail Association and has been a coach for Girls on the Run.

What inspires Christina? “First and foremost, it’s my family. My husband works relentlessly seven days a week to care for his livestock, crops & equipment without complaint and still makes our family a priority.  My daughter has a fearlessness about her and wants to try everything. My son makes me laugh every single day. I get rejuvenated when I am out in nature and love to see new places. To sum it up, I would say I’m inspired by everyday life and new experiences.”

HISTORY

The building where Inspired is located has a history dating back to 1893, where it began as F. J. Backer Harness Shop.  Fred Backer was born in Seibelsdorf, Bavaria, Germany and moved to Milford Township in 1872.  He began as an apprentice with another harness maker in New Ulm before opening his own business. The F. J. Backer Harness Shop carried all kinds of horse goods, trunks and leather goods. 

1872

In 1931, Charles Janni, purchased a half interest in the business, and became sole owner in 1937, when the name changed to Charles F. Janni Harness Shop. 

1931

Together Backer and Janni employed an apprentice named Ralph Vogelpohl at the age of 17.  Vogelpohl and Janni formed a partnership in 1945, and in 1960 Vogelpohl bought Janni’s interest in the business and named the shop Vogelpohl’s.  The store continued to carry leather goods, luggage and had added a complete line of gifts about 1952.

1945

In 1976, Ralph Vogelpohl sold the business to his son, Bradley.  The shop still provided leather goods and grew the gift business.

1976

Curt and Donna Lambrecht purchased Vogelpohl’s in 1983 and renamed the shop Lambrecht’s Gifts.  They continued to expand the product offerings to home décor, silk floral, and clothing.

1983

When Christina Schwab purchased the business in 2017, she renamed it Inspired, the first time in the building’s history the name of the owner was not used in the business name.  Although the business has been in continuous operation since 1893, Schwab is only the fifth family to operate the business and only the fourth family to own the building.

 

2017