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Body & Sole offers spirited shopping

Body and Sole, Ginny Stephens the mastermind, has opened on Third Street, capturing the essence of fun feminity. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

A store capturing the essence of female whimsy has emerged on Third Street, Body and Sole engaging "attitude, not age."

Shoes, clothes, gifts and jewelry, each one "making a statement," explains owner Ginny Stephens of her serendipitous venture.

The owner of Ginny's in Detroit Lakes said a log cabin on the Fish Hook River had lured husband Brian and herself to Park Rapids, the decision to buy made within a single day last summer.

The pair remodels houses, 16 bearing their signature to date.

Living off the water for a time drew them to the cabin that had originated at the New York World's Fair, she learned. A Minnesotan had purchased six of the structures and transported them to Minnesota. The Stephens were smitten with the history and the view.

On subsequent trips down Main, Ginny Stephens noticed a scarcity of women's clothing stores. She determined Park Rapids was in need of a "girly girl store."

"I wanted a building with old bones, with character, nothing modern," she said of the location, the structure across from Bella's capturing her attention over morning coffee.

Six weeks of remodeling ensued.

Now distinctive black crystal chandeliers cast light on a store replete with items for a bachelorette party - crowns and bra sachets among them - as well as unique clothing, shoes, handbags, cards and gift items.

"Anyone can sell a T-shirt; that's not our gig," she explains. "We're fun, fun. There's no category," she said of age. "It's for anyone who likes clothes, something different."

She heads to both coasts - New York and Los Angeles (home turf) - for markets.

Comfort and versatility take center stage at the store with Sympli the Best the signature line, featuring 168 styles in 26 colors to mix and match.

"You have to love what you do, or you shouldn't do it," she states.

Miss Park Rapids, Melodie Englund, and Lianna Vry, a Menahga teacher, also greet clientele.

Body & Sole, at 115 3rd St. West, is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.