Something happened between now and five years ago when the Osier family purchased Able Safe from Michael Duranczyk, who is now chairman of the Bay County Board of Commissioners.
E-commerce, even in the world of gun safes, has completely altered the way retailers do business. It was about 18 months ago when co-owners Karry and Michelle Osier found themselves using only 2,000 of the building’s 6,000 square feet.
A small marketplace filled with Michigan-made products fills what was once offices inside Able Safe on M-13 in Pinconning.Much of their business had moved online. There was simply little need to have much of their inventory in house.
"Nowadays you don’t have to carry everything on the storeroom floor. So we gutted out the backrooms – there were 13 offices back there," Karry says.
"It became More of Michigan."
Karry credits his wife, Michelle, for coming up with the solution, a multiple-vendor location of Michigan-made products made by Michiganders. It's a true family affair, with youngest son, Mason, helping out and eldest son, Wyatt, running the Facebook page.
"We thought maybe we’d have one or two vendors. We’re now up to 37."
It’s been a quick ascent for the marketplace, which only opened a few months ago in October 2019. And there’s room for more. Karry estimates the space can comfortably fit 50 to 60 vendors in total.
It’s a diverse group, ranging in ages from 15 to 90 years old. There are artists who work in wood and metal. There’s even someone who carves with a chainsaw. A 90-year-old gentleman makes hand-carved and hand-painted fishing lures.
Nearly 40 vendors are in the marketplace today, but the owners say there's room for more.For their work, the Osiers were recently recognized with the Economic Development Award from the Pinconning-Linwood Chamber of Commerce.
"It really has exceeded our expectations. We just picked up another vendor this week," Karry says.
"To have people that have all of these talents come in and choose to do their business here, it’s great for us and it’s great for the community, to show our kids that they have options, that you don’t have to go work for someone else.
"You can do it yourself."
More of Michigan is located within Able Safe at 4756 N. Huron Rd. in Pinconning.
Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.