The 202: Rings & Things

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sandra rings and things
Sandra Harley stands behind her shop’s penny candy counter – the only such counter in Fairbanks.

Sandra Harley is a busy woman. While a recent retiree from IBEW, Harley has always been an entrepreneur. What began as a business selling Mary Kay and supporting the Adopt-a-Grandparent program quickly turned into a full-time business. Harley ran the bazaar circuit in Interior Alaska (you name it, she was at it!) before deciding it was time to transition from a pop-up-shop to a brick-and-mortar.

Harley’s reason for opening her shop downtown was simple: “It’s where the people are.”

Her shop – Rings & Things – opened inside the Co-Op Plaza in late 2015. Harley sells the wares of more than 60 different vendors, ranging from woodworking to oil painting and from jewelry to toys. Many of her vendors only work in the summers, but by vending at Rings & Things now have a place to display their goods year-round. “If you need quality handmade goods you don’t need to wait until summer to find them,” said Harley.

What makes her retail space unique is her low rental price ($10 per vendor) and that vendors can name their price. In essence, Harley has created a co-op within the Co-Op Plaza.

“Support your local vendors,” she said. “Every sale is supporting a local family and not a big box store.”

The 202 gives you the latest news on downtown’s businesses and personalities in 202 words.