Ballet Flats and Bowling Bags: Shopping the Hodgepodge at Butler’s Thriftique

Butler’s Thriftique is a gleeful mash-up of a concept, a hybrid retail/consignment/vintage/antique shop that is perfectly adapted to the needs of its customers in Park River, North Dakota.

It’s a packed-to-the-gills small-town original that’s making it work with a little creativity and over-the-top customer service.


The store has several zones, including a small retail area for beauty products toward the front of the store, a large selection of mens’ and womens’ consignment and vintage clothing and accessories and a room packed with antiques and enough rusty stuff to make hard-core junkers smile.

But these designations are only suggestions. The place has an antique store vibe, with treasures packed onto every shelf and spilling out of their designated spots with unselfconscious glee.

My sister Brynn and I were tempted by the riot of color in the shop’s windows as we left Welch’s Bakery just up the street, our arms full of donuts and babies.

Thankfully, Jen Butler-Slominski isn’t just a shop owner, she’s also Park River’s resident Baby Whisperer. She welcomed us in, pulled down some toys for our littlest ones and set about making all four kids smile. (And this was before she knew I would turn out to be a picture-snapping, note-taking weirdo who would later write about her shop.)


This gave Brynn and I an unexpected mental break, and once it dawned on us that we weren’t immediately needed (a weird and unfamiliar sensation for a work-at-home mom) we used our tiny window of freedom to pack an hour’s worth of shopping into about 10 minutes. (Motherhood has made us ridiculously efficient.)

I resisted the siren’s call of yet another scarf (I have a hatbox full already) and those sweet vintage bowling bags in the photo at the top of the post, but I did snap up a gauzy white maxi dress with that perfect laid-back vibe.


As I was pondering whether or not I needed Prairie Roots’ goats milk soap and lotion (it’s made a few counties over in Belcourt, North Dakota and ooooh, I am a sucker for local products….) Brynn had accomplished the shopping equivalent of a grand slam.

She emerged triumphantly from the dressing room carrying three shirts, a hat, a pair of classic black ballerina flats with preppy gold buckles and the sweet summer dress on the left.


The best part? She paid 27 bucks. 27. Wow. This is a woman who, just a few short months ago, said she found consignment and thrift stores to be overwhelming. I think my work here is done.

Jen wrapped up all of our packages in complimentary eggplant purple tissue paper, plunked them into vivid green paper bags and we were on our way, back on the street in the blink of an eye.

The next time you find yourself in Walsh county, stop in and see Jen at Butler’s Thriftique. Maybe the magic will work for you too!


Butler’s Thriftique
408A Briggs Avenue South
Park River, North Dakota
Tuesday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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