“I owned a similar business in uptown Norwalk and missed having a shop since I closed it a few years ago,” owner Kayleen Lee said.
Lee raised her children in Norwalk. She now lives in Port Clinton and is a realtor, but when she saw space was available in Sandusky she decided to renovate the vacate property and turn it the Rescued Anchor.
“Sandusky is centrally located and there is a lot of revitalization and excitement going on,” Lee said. “I wanted to be a part of it.”
Lee and her daughter Lisa Goodright search for unique items at sales, auctions and flea markets. They then rehab and repurpose the items to turn them into something one-of-kind. The market sells painted furniture, home decor, signs, jewelry and vintage and repurposed items.
“Most everything in the shop is bought or made by my daughter or myself,” Lee said. “It takes us a long time to prepare and reset the shop between each market, so it is fresh and new.”
Lee chose to open the market only on the third Saturday and Sunday of every month to allow for more time to prepare items and to make it more of an event.
“We wanted the shopping experience to be an event that could be looked forward to each visit,” Lee said. “Occasional markets are a growing trend and are very popular in other areas of the country.”
The day and time of markets can vary depending on the holiday, so Lee announces it on the Facebook page for the market. Since she hosted the first market, she said the reception from the community has been great.
“Everyone has been wonderful and seem excited to have an affordable fun shop like mine in the area,” Lee said. “Every month, I meet new people and have learned so much about the city of Sandusky from people stopping in.”
People who shop at the Rescued Anchor can also sleep well knowing their money is going toward a good cause. Lee donates a portion of the proceeds to local humane societies and nonprofits for animals. She also hosts occasional pop-up shops to support organizations.
“Humane societies and rescues do not receive state or federal funding so fundraising is extremely important,” Lee said. “We’ve hosted events benefitting the humane societies of Erie and Ottawa counties as well as the Jazz Cat Sanctuary located in Oak Harbor.”
She operates the Animal Advocates of Huron, Erie and Ottawa Counties Facebook page, where she promotes causes.
“I would ultimately like to become a nonprofit entity and be able to have a volunteer staff so that I can do more to help these organizations,” Lee said. “But for now, hosting ‘shop for a cause’ events is something I can do to help.”