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The perfect pair

Local business aims to make estate sales and downsizing easier

For Andrea Strom and Penny Thompson, owners of The Perfect Pair Estate and Downsizing Services, helping people through difficult and trying times is their main goal.

Strom and Thompson, also owners of Junktion Market in Albert Lea, said the idea to start the estate and downsizing business came organically.

“People started coming into the store downtown, asking if we wanted to buy their estates,” Strom said. “We didn’t have the room to buy an entire estate and a lot of times, we didn’t want everything. Then it morphed into ‘Well, do you do sales?’… It just kind of turned into a second business.”

Thompson said she thinks it compliments the work they do at Junktion Market, and getting into estate sales was the next logical step for them.

“It’s kind of a sister business with what we do at the store,” Thompson said. “We have a love of old things. I think it was just kind of a natural progression for us to get into the estate sale business, and I think there was a legitimate need in our community for that.”

Strom said she is thankful The Perfect Pair has the ability to sell things online, something not many estate sale businesses are able to offer. She said there are so many collector groups on the internet for individual items, it makes finding buyers much easier. Being able to sell online was also one of the contributing factors helping them throughout the pandemic.

As people who hate to see things end up at the dump, Strom said estate sales have been a good fit for them. Before each consultation, she said she always tells people not to throw anything out until they’ve had the chance to look at it. She said what some people might think is trash, might actually end up being the most valuable thing in the house. 

“What we try to impress upon people is secondhand keeps things out of the landfill,” Strom said. “We have too much stuff in landfills. There are people that stubb their nose at estate sales and thrift stores, but there is a purpose.”

On top of providing needed service, Thompson said they often learn a lot through the items they sell. Thompson said she once came upon a number of journals written by someone from Albert Lea from the late 1800s to the 1940s. She said there was a lot of information in them about what it was like during the flu of 1918, Pearl Harbor and more. 

What the duo really enjoys about their jobs is being able to help people out in times they might need it most.

“We’re doing a service to the community,” Thompson said. “I really do truly feel like we’re helping people in a caring and thoughtful way through probably one of the hardest transitions in their lives in a lot of cases. For me that’s really what it comes down to.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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