The Fun Sisters Boutique set to close after the holidays

Credit: Fun Sisters owner Patsy Skiba will close her Nicollet Avenue shop in early 2016. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Fun Sisters will remain open on Nicollet through the holiday season, after which the owner expects to close the store and sell the building at 4253 Nicollet Ave. S.

Patsy Skiba said she loves helping women in her stores, but she’s worked nonstop for the past six months.

“I have six stores and I never get a day off,” said Skiba, a Tangletown resident.

Skiba said she doesn’t currently plan to close her other stores, however.

“I’ll never stop doing Fun Sisters,” she said.

Her Nisswa shop is a particular draw for her, as she has two grandchildren in the area. Business is great up North, she said. She’s learned that Minneapolis customers are busy with home and kids and prefer to justify a Fun Sisters shopping trip while on vacation. And the competition from other boutiques in Minneapolis has grown over time.

“There wasn’t a store like this when I first started,” she said.

One of her favorite apparel lines is called NIKIBIKI and consists of black U.S.-made layering pieces that are one-size-fits-all (size 0-28).

“It’s not Spanx, it doesn’t hurt you. … It’s not tight, it’s not see-through,” she said. “I’ve got women hooked on this now.”

Fun Sisters has a rather nontraditional startup story. Skiba and her sister Mary worked as flight attendants, and enjoyed purchasing Burberry scarves and Gucci bag knock-offs from street vendors in New York. They started selling the merchandise at home, until federal officials started cracking down on such counterfeit sales. The sisters were convicted of a felony, and the experience led to the formation of Fun Sisters — even the inspiration for the name. As an FBI agent worked to remove stacked boxes of merchandise, Patsy quipped, “I hope that doesn’t hit you on the head.”

The agent responded: “You’re a couple of fun sisters, aren’t you.”