Who's Making Money Now ...
Hard times everywhere? Hardly! A gimlet-eyed look at the winners and losers of the new economy—plus, salary figures for 100 jobs in Minnesota.
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Never have “pre-owned” lamps and “vintage” armchairs looked so appealing. Shoppers wishing to sate their spending-spree impulses have flocked to thrift stores. “We are having a good year,” says Brian Becker, marketing director for Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota. “Our store sales are up 14 percent over last year.” The local Goodwill, which takes in more than 60 million pounds of donated goods annually and funds job-training programs, recently opened two new outlets. It has also spiffed up the older ones. “We’ve got a bright color template that’s inviting. Lots of duct work.” Becker says. “It’s kind of the Old Navy look.”
Loser: Specialty Home Stores
With home building in the dumps, there are fewer living rooms and bedrooms to furnish. This has been tough on shops like the Deco Boutique, Poliform, Luehmann, and the Good Life—just to name a few of the specialty home stores that closed their doors in 2009.
Though tattoo artists tend to be too pirate-like to belong to any state organization that might track business trends, anecdotal evidence suggests they are doing well indeed. That’s not so hard to believe when you consider that about a third of people between the ages of 18 and 40 say they bear ink. “We’re on an upward trajectory,” says Scott Elke, co-owner of Live Fast Die Young Tattoos in Minneapolis. Though the studio opened in the dark days that brought 2008 to a close, he says they recently hired two additional artists. By Elke’s lights, a tattoo may be the perfect antidote to the recession: “You can’t have it taken from you. You can’t pawn it. And it doesn’t break down.”
Loser: Plastic Surgeons
As patients opt for less expensive procedures or forego them altogether, plastic surgeons are earning less, says Joe Gryskiewicz, who practices in Edina and chairs the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ emerging-trends committee. “A lot of patients, rather than having a face lift, will have a filler. I’ve had doctors in Minnesota tell me that their earnings are down 20 to 50 percent.”