BONNERS FERRY — Ash Street Market is owned by Tara and Del Nelson, and began as the office for Tara Nelson’s accounting business. Del Nelson is a contractor and uses the certification to run his business, Ash Street Handiman Services. He is also a woodcrafter, and Tara Nelson is a collector of various forms of art and decor. Together they utilized the office space and transformed it into a shop selling art, antiques, vintage items, and handcrafted items, as well as assisting community members with accounting and home improvement services.
Their shop also serves a unique purpose. Their son, Bryce Nelson, has a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU), so the Nelsons utilize the income from the shop to support their son. Bryce Nelson recently turned 18 years old and is graduating high school with his class this year, but the medical insurance company has given the family a difficult time with the technicalities of funding his costly treatments and appointments.
Due to PKU, Bryce Nelson is unable to metabolize the essential amino acid phenylalanine, a precursor for Tyrosine, which is a primary component of all proteins. Bryce Nelson has to follow a strict diet of a minimal amount of foods that are extremely low in protein. The majority of his diet comes from a formula and a special diet. The formula costs the family about $40 per day in addition to the other foods as well as medications, doctors appointments, nutritionist appointments, traveling expenses, and many other necessary costs.
Del Nelson utilizes his handyman skills to do repairs, remodels, and additions to structures, as well as operate a snow plowing service to the community. He also works with his brothers as an excavator assisting in property management projects.
“My very talented husband makes special pieces out of wood or metal in his spare time and with the intent of finding a way to defray the rising costs of caring for our son. We created the Ash Street Market site on Etsy in 2016,” said Tara Nelson. “Before long, we were also doing consignments for other local artisans and neighbors, or family, clearing out their collections of unique vintage items, art and antiques.”
“We first opened up to the locals for the 2016 Christmas shopping season with a great reception from our community,” said Tara Nelson. “In early 2017, we added the additional online storefront of ashstreetmarket.com that quickly expanded our exposure.”
The Nelsons ended the year by adding new gift items and opening up again to the local community during the 2017 Christmas shopping season.
“We were urged by many of our patrons at Christmas to be open locally more often to fill a need in Bonners Ferry for more unique gift giving options,” said Tara Nelson.
From a Christmas time gift venture, to a full time shop, the Nelsons have been busy in and out of the store as well as online. They are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but due to the nature of their conglomerate businesses, the couple cannot always be present in the store. Due to this dilemma, they plan to seek an assistant in order to keep consistent business hours.
“We also have a lot of plans for upgrading our ‘little shop that could’, during this summer too,” said Tara Nelson.
For more information, visit their website at www.ashstreetmarket.com, call 208-267-3021, or stop by at 7098 Ash Street in Bonners Ferry. To find out more about the National PKU Alliance and their efforts, visit www.npkua.org.