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Skirts and Sweat: New businesses added to Washington Square Mall

Skirts, yoga, tailoring and nutrition— Washington Square Mall found a way to add all four by adding Skirting the Rules and 180 Balance Yoga Fitness Nutrition to their "family."

Previously located by Culligan Water and now by Red Willow (downtown), Skirting the Rules made quite a move across town. Owner Nikki Caulfied shared that their old location wasn't the best, both because the location wasn't always easy to explain and the store was too small.

"Since I picked up tuxedo rental it got way too crowded in the other place," Caulfied said. "There was one day during prom season where I counted, aside from me and my worker, an additionally 20 people in there. I just physically couldn't fit anymore."

Their new location is still under a little bit of construction with getting things finalized, but it has much more room. They officially opened on July 2 and Caulfied shared that the first couple of days have been "good, a little chaotic." She is still working to get everything finalized and set up, but already is liking having multiple dressing rooms.

"That was a huge issue at the old spot," she said.

Since she does clothing alterations, tuxedo rentals, and sells her own hand-made clothes, the dressing rooms see a lot of action. Once Affairs by Brittany and Norby's closed their doors, Skirting the Rules became the primary business for alterations and tuxedo rentals. In this new location, Caulfield has been able to take advantage of that.

"I was able to expand what I carry for tuxedo choices," she said. "I've picked up the selection that both Norby's and Brittany's had."

Her store is also expanding in other ways. They are adding a selection of Spanxs, small gift wares, and more clothing. Aside from Spanx, Caulfield has been trying to find places where she knows the people who are making the products.

A full Grand Opening of her store at their new location will be over Crazy Days this August. Caulfield shared that she isn't quite sure what the opening will include, but she knows the tuxes will be included and that she's looking forward to it.

Similar to Skirting the Rules, 180 Balance is making a transition from their studio because of a need for a larger space.

"We sell out of our classes every weekend, so we just can't fit anymore people," owner Misty Lamppa said.

She offers multiple classes every day, which includes pretty much any kind of yoga, and has multiple yoga instructors.

"But (selling out) wasn't the main reason for coming here; it is nice to have a little bit more room, but we were just growing out of our amenities," Lamppa said. "We needed to add more showers and bathrooms."

Lamppa also needed more sinks and room to make her smoothies.

"We needed an effective place to sell really healthy smoothies with clean ingredients,"she said.

In order to do that, she needed a space with more sinks and, again, room.

The location that she found that offered that was the old Affairs by Brittany inside of the Mall. It's almost double the size of the current location, and the only thing that Lamppa wishes it has is a door actually on the street.

But, she is glad the entrance is easily found and accessible. In their current location, they have an entrance in the back, which doesn't give her the same opportunity to greet people as the front entrance does.

"I wanted everyone to feel like they are greeted, they belong, and they are welcome," Lamppa said.

Lamppa welcomes literally anyone to 180 Balance, including those who don't have the funds to pay for her classes. Currently, Lamppa actively works with Lakes Crisis and Resource Center (LCRC) to provide free classes once a week and offers different rates to those who truly can't afford it. In the future, she wants to start a transportation system so that more members of LCRC can come to the studio.

As for right now, the focus is on getting the new location ready. To do that, Lamppa needs the funds to transform the place. She's doing a Yogathon fundraiser to help. She is doing a

"It kind of stemmed from one of our birthday parties that we had and we just had so much fun," Lamppa said. "We just did a lot of fun, goofy things."

Her event costs $25 to participate in and will be on Sunday July 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. After that, Lamppa will be working hard to open their new location between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15. She is thankful for the already warm welcome that she's received from different businesses in the mall, and is looking forward to their opening.

"I felt like I owed it to the community and to the people who supported the business for the last five years," Lamppa said.

Desiree Bauer

Desiree's family moved back to Frazee, where her parents grew up themselves, in 2009. She graduated from Frazee High School in 2016 and Southwest Minnesota State University in 2019. Done with college and into the 'adult' world, Desiree is eager to get into the writing and editing field, starting with this internship at the Detroit Lakes Newspapers.