FARGO – When the UPS man comes through the door of Kittsona in downtown Fargo, he’s greeted with an enthusiastic “Woo hoo!” from manager Samantha Hayes.
“We get so excited when we get new boxes in!” she says.
Even more so now that the store, which specializes in women’s clothing and unique North Dakota and Minnesota products, has additional room to display inventory.
In July, Kittsona more than doubled the size of its Fargo location (from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet) by taking over the space of what was Harvest Community Church next door at 608 Main Ave.
Hayes says when the opportunity came up to expand, they just couldn’t pass it up.
“We wanted to give our queens – we call our customers “queens” – more options. We have so many fun gifts and local items and we wanted to showcase them even better,” she says.
Hayes says that meant tearing through a 100-year-old brick wall to reach the new space. While they’ve painted the walls and added new flooring and fitting rooms, the space maintains a vintage feel by prominently displaying the exposed century-old brick.
“We’ve wanted to create a unique shopping experience. We like to focus on our customers and what they really need. We have some awesome regulars who have come to count on us for those really fun, special outfits for birthdays or bridal showers,” she says.
Shoppers liked Kittsona enough to vote it “Best Boutique” in The Forum’s Best of the Red River Valley contest in 2015.
The popularity isn’t limited to Fargo.The store, founded in 2011 by Grand Forks natives Tessa Hiney and Nicole Johnson, now has locations in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo and Minneapolis. In September, they’ll open their first store outside the Midwest in Austin, Texas.
“This was definitely not something we were originally seeking out,” Johnson recently told John Hageman of The Grand Forks Herald. “We feel like we’re going to be able to do North Dakota proud with our representation down there.”
It remains to be seen how Kittsona will fare in the Lone Star State, but Hayes says in the meantime they couldn’t be happier to be growing in Fargo.
“We love downtown Fargo. It’s great to be in this building and have so many great downtown neighbors around us,” she says.
The UPS man included.
Where: 610 Main Ave., Fargo
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Phone: (701) 936-0608