Local Business Spotlight: A look at Fargo’s small businesses and the people behind them.
Featuring: Mint & Basil, Hope Goldammer
By: Dane Johnson, Folkways Editorial Board
Mint & Basil offers Fargoans an opportunity to charm their homes with a touch more whimsy through wares and decor available at their downtown boutique.
The shop’s founder, Hope Goldammer, was inspired to start the business after noticing a lack of shops providing kitchen supplies and home accessories in Fargo.
But her entrepreneurial journey didn’t start with Mint & Basil.
After graduating from North Dakota State University, with a degree in fashion design, Hope was met with few opportunities for work within her field of study in North Dakota. She adjusted her dream of working as a creative professional in a big company, in a big city somewhere, to create a new path forward right in her hometown of Bismarck.
In 2011, her career as an entrepreneur began in earnest when Hope and her mother, Madonna Wald, an interior designer, started a boutique in Downtown Bismarck called LOT2029 – a name that combines how they refer to investment properties as “lots” with their respective birth dates, which both take place in July.
LOT2029 found its home in a building that previously housed a radio station, complete with cubicles and a low-hanging ceiling; meaning that it would require six months of renovating before the space was in their preferred retail shape.
The mother-daughter duo found their paired skillsets a winning combination, and they set off to replicate their business elsewhere. Attracted by its larger college population and active downtown, they determined Fargo to be the location for their second store.
By 2013, LOT2029 had two brick and mortar businesses, Bismarck and Fargo, and an online store.
By 2014, Hope said their business felt “growing pains” and so stretched into another retail space in Sioux Falls, SD.
Then, on October 1, 2016, Hope and her husband Donny opened Mint & Basil at 714 Main Ave. in Downtown Fargo.
Subsequently, Hope has become somewhat of a serial entrepreneur; to which she attributes benefits that go beyond success in business:
“I wasn’t expecting the creative growth that happened when I put myself into the entrepreneurial mindset. I looked at how to grow my brands, but then I began questioning, ‘how do I personally grow?’” She reflected.
“I’ve gained momentum in other areas of my life,” she added.
In considering how she might encourage other entrepreneurs who are just getting started, Hope, with some reservations because of its controversy, suggested that creatives should consider bypassing college as a more intelligent career move.
“If you have a choice of what books you want to read and where you want to spend your time, then I think that you can learn more through personal experience,” she shared.
The experience of starting multiple businesses has also taught her one very important lesson: Let go.
“Don’t micro-manage; that will stop you so fast,” she shared. “To grow beyond, you have to let go.”
And taking her small business endeavors in Bismarck, Fargo, and Sioux Falls as evidence, you can see that growth is something at which Hope has become quite adept.