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Fun Sisters store in Pequot Lakes closing this spring

Owners Patsy and Daryl Skiba are working toward retirement. A new retail store is set to open in the large building.

Fun SIsters in Pequot Lakes March 2022.JPG
The Fun Sisters retail boutique in downtown Pequot Lakes, shown Thursday, March 3, 2022, is having a going out of business sale and will close this spring. The building has a buyer.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal
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PEQUOT LAKES — The Fun Sisters boutique store at the corner of Main Street and Government Drive in Pequot Lakes will close its doors this spring.

“We’re working toward retirement,” Daryl Skiba, who owns the Fun Sisters stores in Pequot Lakes and Nisswa with his wife, Patsy, said last week at the Pequot Lakes store.

“Someone came in and wanted to buy the building,” he said. “They want to move in. We need to move out.”

Word is a different retail boutique will open in the space, with more information set to come later.

“It’s not because of poor sales. We’re trying to retire,” Skiba reiterated, adding the Pequot Lakes store does particularly well in the winter.

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Sweet P’s Treats, the ice cream parlor that opened in the spring of 2019 in the back of the retail store, also will close, though the new owner may choose to reopen an ice cream store.

Skiba said they have a potential buyer for the Nisswa Fun Sisters store as well who possibly would keep the store as Fun Sisters. There is no timeframe on if or when this sale would occur.

Skiba said he and Patsy once owned six stores and are working their way to owning zero. The first storefront opened in 2002 in Minneapolis, with other stores following in St. Paul, Stillwater, Walker and the two local stores. They currently own just the two local Fun Sisters stores.

The Pequot Lakes store opened in 2007 next door to Leslie’s. The Skibas bought the current building in fall 2016, and after extensive renovations they eventually moved the store to the larger location with more storage space as well.

They’ve always adhered to their tagline: “Fashion and Fun … Affordable for Everyone!” Fun Sisters is known as a fun place to shop for all ages, and Skiba said they sought to keep prices affordable for everyone.

“That’s one of our goals - to make that happen,” he said.

Patsy Skiba started selling retail items with her sister, Mary Rolbiecki, in the 1990s from her home. The sisters called their business Fabulous Fakes, selling knockoff items purchased from street vendors in New York, Daryl Skiba said.

The Fun Sisters website shares the rest of the story:

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“In 1994, unbeknownst to Patsy and Mary, U.S. Customs Agents were cracking down on the knock-off goods sold openly in New York. Those who buy counterfeit merchandise cannot be prosecuted. Unfortunately to the sisters, those who sell it can!”

The sisters were convicted of a federal felony and had to perform community service, pay fines and be on probation.

“Looking back now they laugh, as these circumstances paved the way for what is now known as The Fun Sisters,” the website says.

Daryl said when they were taking shirts out of a stack of teetering boxes to donate, they told an FBI agent they hoped the boxes wouldn’t fall on his head and he said: “You guys are just a couple of fun sisters, aren’t you?”

And a new retail business was born in 1995. When the business became too big to operate out of a home, they moved to a storefront with Patsy eventually buying out her sister’s part of the business.

The Pequot Lakes store is currently having a going out of business sale with the final day planned sometime this spring.

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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