FARGO—Not long ago, Kelly Falk and Marceia Andreasen enjoyed shopping together for the latest looks at clothing boutiques. The mother and daughter are now bringing their vision of a boutique with something for everyone to the bustling retail scene of downtown Fargo.
Falk, 25, and Andreasen, 45, live in Alexandria, Minn., and said they talked for years about someday opening a store. For a while, it was just a dream for the marketing professional and her mother who teaches social studies in Alexandria.
But when their favorite local boutique closed, Andreasen said they finally followed through on that dream to open Kindred People, 111 6th Ave. E., in Alexandria in May 2015.
"We were sitting in the fish house one night and my husband said, 'Why don't you just do it?' " she said with a chuckle. " 'Quit talking about it.' "
They'll open a bigger second store at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, in the heart of downtown Fargo, taking the place of the former Art Materials store, 300 Broadway, which closed in May.
Falk and Andreasen oversaw a renovation of the space to make it boutique-ready, including replacing light fixtures, adding a stockroom and dressing rooms and installing custom fixtures and clothing racks.
The business partners frequently attend large expos, including the biannual MAGIC fashion marketplace in Las Vegas, to handpick clothing for their stores. Their goal, according to Andreasen, is to buy only one "pack" of fashion items that typically include six of the same product—a decision she said ensures customers will have something unique and not see 100 other women wearing the same top in town.
Those trade shows also serve as a reminder of the way Kindred People stands out from many other clothing retailers, she said.
"When we go to a market, they ask us, 'Who is your girl,' and we say, 'Everybody,' " she said. "The name Kindred People, kindred means people that are kin to each other, so we try to make this a place where there's something for everyone. At market, they'll tell us, 'Well, you can't do that.' "
Falk said it's worked well for Kindred People over the past couple years as customers have learned to come in often to see the latest and newest products on display.
"We honestly have high school all the way up to 70s shopping here, and they all will buy fashion clothes," she said.
Falk said it's also helpful that she brings her more youthful sensibilities to the business while her mother can bring her own experiences and tastes to the table. That combination, she said, results in a mix of jewelry, beauty and skin care products, gifts and clothing that should appeal to a wide range of customers.
Andreasen said Kindred People also has a growing number of male shoppers who appreciate the store's beard oils, locally themed caps and unisex "state pride" T-shirts that the store now carries.
The retailer's fashion tends to skew toward "comfy, cozy, casual" looks, she said, but shoppers can find the right piece for a low-key day at the lake just as readily as the perfect cocktail dress for a wedding or event.
The duo worked with three regional companies to make custom designs for shirts that show pride for Minnesota and North Dakota, and Falk said most of the jewelry, gifts and other products in the store are made by local artisans.
Falk and Andreasen will continue to live in Alexandria, though Falk will split her time in Fargo overseeing the new store while Andreasen teaches in Alexandria. They plan to have seven employees at the Fargo store, which will have a grand opening celebration sometime this fall.
What: Kindred People
Where: 300 Broadway, Fargo
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (701) 478-2012