Owners of popular Galena store open philanthropic sister business

Co-owners Alana Turner (left) and Traci Lyden opened Spotsie’s in Galena, Ill., on Aug. 1, and products sold there benefit a number of causes. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

GALENA, Ill. — Poopsie’s co-owners Alana Turner and Traci Lyden had about one month of preparation between securing the spot for their new Galena store, Spotsie’s, and opening the business.

“It took peanut M&M’s, coffee and a lack of sleep,” Turner said with a laugh. “But everyone on our team really came together to pull it off.”

Spotsie’s opened Aug. 1 in what used to be the Galena State Bank building, right across the street from Poopsie’s, 402 S. Main St. The name “Spotsie’s” stems from the Poopsie’s monster mascot, Spot.

While Spotsie’s offers many unique gift products to customers like its sister business, everything sold at Spotsie’s also gives back. The 19 vendors that Turner and Lyden have in the store currently all donate part of their proceeds toward a specific cause. Those causes are noted in signs above each product display and include autism and Alzheimer’s awareness, environmental issues and combating child hunger.

“People have really been loving the concept overall,” Lyden said. “Each purchase helps us help others.”

The co-owners also plan to dedicate a portion of their yearly sales to a local organization or cause. Turner said they plan to wait until the end of each year to announce their decision in order to see where there is the most need, especially this year, during which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many people’s lives.

“2020 could use a little more love,” she said.

Turner said she and Lyden always have looked for a way to give back to the community and those in need through Poopsie’s. When new store space opened up, it presented the perfect opportunity to kick up their philanthropy and give customers the opportunity to do the same.

“Their gift-giving is giving back more than once,” Turner said.

New products and vendors will be featured in Spotsie’s frequently, but Turner and Lyden said some products already emerged as popular picks that likely aren’t going anywhere.

Their tote bag line, which features original artwork on each bag and an inspirational message printed inside, has been one such item. Proceeds for the bags go toward combating human trafficking.

Another popular item is Pinch Me Therapy Dough, with those sales benefiting veterans. Turner compared the product to Play-Doh infused with essential oils to help people destress — something she noted has been even more in demand since COVID-19.

While customers can come to the store to pick up items, Spotsie’s also takes online and phone orders. Turner noted that they also set up a drive- thru in the new Poopsie’s and Spotsie’s parking lot, which customers have loved.

Juggling two businesses has presented a learning curve for the co-owners. However, having the stores right across the street from one another makes it easier, even if that means running back and forth throughout the day.

“We say that Poopsie’s is our retail on steroids,” Turner said. “This is our sweet spot.”