Saskatchewan

This Sask. pottery shop is open 24/7 and uses the honour system — with no problems

Pottery shop owner Marea Olafson says she took inspiration from a shop in B.C. that used the honour system, when she opened her own place in B.C., and says people are amazed to hear it works.

In 7 years, owner says she hasn't had any issues because 'people are good'

This pottery shop located off Highway 16 uses the honour system — and the owner says it works. (Submitted by Marea Olafson/Freba Pottery)

People can walk into Marea Olafson's pottery shop any time, day or night, and carry out whatever they want. All she asks is they leave money in the tin or e-transfer her the amount of what they owe. 

And in seven years, she says people have studiously abided by this honour system.  

"It's been fabulous. I haven't had a problem," she said, chalking it up to the fact that "people are good."

Freba Pottery, located off Highway 16 between Dafoe and Kandahar, Sask., is open 24 hours a day, including at times when Olafson's away and working at her other job as a teacher.

"On the days I am teaching, when we come home from school, that's the first thing we do, is check the store [to see] who's been here,'' she says.

People mark down in a notebook if they've stopped in to visit and if they've purchased an item. 

Over the past seven years, she's had visitors from all across Saskatchewan but also from further afield, like Alaska and New York.

"And it's more exciting to check who's been here than to check to see if something's happened — like someone took something — because that doesn't happen."

Listen to Marea Olafson's interview with CBC Saskatchewan's Morning Edition:

The idea for a shop operating on the honour system first came from her visit to Denman Island in British Columbia, where she saw a similar concept in action. 

When she moved into her grandmother's former home out by Dafoe, she wondered if she could bring in a similar system to rural Saskatchewan. 

"I also have a life and I also have to create, so I can't be at the store the whole time," she recalls thinking. 

Once Marea Olafson opened up her 24/7 pottery shop, she was able to sell her pottery without having to haul her work from one trade show to another.  (Supplied by Marea Olafson)

Once she opened up the 24/7 pottery shop, she found herself in the rewarding position of being able to sell her pottery without having to haul her work from one trade show to another. 

"The store has really allowed me not to travel with my pottery but just create," she says, explaining it reinforces the lesson to her students to follow their passions.

"They know what I'm saying is what I'm living."

with files from CBC Saskatchewan's Morning Edition

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