Stoughton Welcomes New Businesses

Owner of Hello Art Hatchery, Jenny Oppriecht, standing with her favorite store item, the unique papers. (photos by kaitlyn broderick)
Owner of Northern Compass, Heather North, stands of one of her many clothes racks in her store.
Handcrafted soaps, lotions, scrubs, clothes, and makeup are sold at Northern Compass.

Downtown Stoughton is hopping with many new, small, and unique businesses and boutiques. Hello Art Hatchery and Northern Compass are just two new small businesses in Stoughton. These stores, although different in what they sell, are both two previously online businesses. Hello Art Hatchery, the first creative reuse center in Stoughton, is located towards the east end of the downtown Stoughton strip in the basement of 524 E Main St, Studio 1. The store opened online on Feb. 1, 2022, then opened their physical store on July 4, 2022. Owner of Hello Art Hatchery, Jenny Oppriecht was not born and raised in Stoughton. She grew up in Fitchburg and Verona, where she attended Verona High School. Oppriecht has a few facts that she believes highlight her store. “My background is in graphic design. I went to commercial law school for commercial art and design, and I currently work in marketing, so I’ve got some background and have been a creator since I was little,” Oppriecht says. Oppriecht also has an associate’s degree in commercial art. Hello Art Hatchery also sells new and secondhand art and craft supplies. “We do kind of anything for the fiber arts. So knitting and crocheting- we have a lot of yarn and needles. We do sewing materials, beading, felting, and then I like to work with paper, so we carry quite a bit of paper. And then there’s scrapbooking and stamping, cardmaking. And then we have fine art supplies and some ceramics and some kiddos stuff, too,” Oppriecht says. There are a few things Oppriecht would like SHS students to know about her business, as Stoughton citizens. “We try to make it really accessible and affordable to buy supplies so that younger people can try something without having to invest a ton of money in buying what they need to get going […] I’d like [people] to know that we’re here, that we’re helping to reduce waste and keep unwanted supplies out of the landfill, and that we’re a good alternative to traditional thrift stores who have a harder time displaying or reselling craft and art supplies,” Oppriecht says. Oppriecht loves being a small business owner and has wanted to be one since she was younger. Another new business in Stoughton, Northern Compass, is a lively boutique that is located at 1308 Hamilton St, right next to Subway and near the high school. Northern Compass is owned by Heather North. North grew up in Manawa, attending Little Wolf High School. She graduated from the University of Oshkosh, earning a degree in journalism with an emphasis on public relations. She moved to Stoughton in 2019 and opened her online store five years ago, opening her physical store space this October. North has a few facts that she believes highlights her store. “Giving back to the community and being an all-one-stop shop [are a few goals of Northern Compass.] You can find a little bit of everything here, and we do different things throughout the year,” North says. “We sponsor events or do drives. […] We donated half our sales of November to start [a] toy drive.” Northern Compass sells anything you can think of and more. “Clothing, books, purses, accessories, and gifts for everyone from hot sauce to spa items to kids to baby showers to bridal showers,” North says. Northern Compass has a few aspects that make the store unique. “I was online for so long, and I would say about 40% of my sales still come from online […] It’s large, and people are all over the states,” North says. As much as North loves being a small business owner, it wasn’t always her dream job. “My mom always jokes with people, and hopefully, this makes people laugh, but when I was six, she asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I said to be a waitress. So no, I did not dream of being a small business owner. However, I did accomplish that dream because I was a waitress in college,” North says. Oppriecht and North have had great experiences in Stoughton, even though they chose to have their businesses located in Stoughton for different reasons. “[Stoughton] had opportunities [because] of vacant buildings […] that are not too oversized and [didn’t] make me feel overwhelmed with starting a storefront […] Everyone is so nice and friendly,” North says. Oppreicht chose Stoughton for other reasons. “We moved here ten years ago and came from Verona and have just had the dream to work where we live, and Stoughton has a great little downtown, and it’s got everything we wanted,” Oppriecht says. “I think Stoughton is great for what we’re doing. They’re doing a good job of creating a space where people want to come as a destination.”