Dark Horse Rentals saw a year full of changes and growth in 2019, thanks to the work and effort of the newest co-owner, Lynn Osborne. On Oct. 23, 2018, she partnered with her father to buy the business.

The previous owner faced medical issues and problems that limited her ability to maintain the business, she said. Osborne started by overhauling the business by cleaning, remodeling, tearing down walls, painting and more.

“This carpet was black (in the main lobby), and everybody said, ‘Did you get a new carpet?’ and no, I just cleaned it,” she said. “The whole store is nothing like it used to be, and it’s bigger than before.”

Dark Horse Rentals rents spaces out to vendors, and vendors come in to decorate and present their products for sale in their space. The amount of variety in the vendors makes it seem like almost anything can be found, except for food, Osborne said.

“You’ve got a variety of everything from material for crafts, housing, picture frames, tools, antiques, jewelry, clothing, handcrafted wood work — it’s just randomly everything,” Osborne said.

The amount of vendors selling from the Dark Horse has doubled since Osborne started, and customers now have 40 vendors to choose from. People also bring in consignment items to sell. There are also about 40 vendors on the waiting list to rent out space who are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.

Vendors interested in renting out space have four different options for sizes to rent, from $20-60 a month.

Osborne does not charge a commission fee for the items sold unless they are put on consignment. There is a 20% fee for items put on consignment, and she will accept items based on how much space the product needs. She is willing to take a few things from everyone but not an abundant amount of merchandise from one person. A majority of the money the store makes goes back into the store and future improvements.

Along with a variety of items to buy, Dark Horse Rentals provides a chance for a cup of coffee or tea and a conversation, Osborne said.

“There’s no strangers that walk through that door, and we have quite the conversations here,” she said. “This last year has been amazing, and I appreciate everyone’s business, more than they will ever know, and I plan on being here for many more years.”

Dark Horse Rentals is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 600 S. Canyon St. in John Day. For more information, call 541-620-5808.

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Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at rudy@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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