Lit Decor & Gift is under new ownership

A gut feeling and surprising offer led Uni and John Fegely down the path of ownership.

lit owners.jpg
Uni and John Fegely recently purchased Lit Decor & Gift, 908 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes.
Contributed / Uni Fegely

DETROIT LAKES — While Lit Decor & Gift wasn’t for sale, it is now under new ownership, and expansion is on the horizon.

Uni Fegely said the opportunity to purchase Lit began at the Fireside restaurant in Detroit Lakes. She and her husband John were enjoying a family night out. The two have three adult children and one grandchild, with another on the way.

“I saw Lauren and Steve (Zima) at a table and felt pulled to reconnect,” she said, explaining that she had worked for the Zimas several years ago at The Nines in Detroit Lakes. “I followed my gut and said, ‘Hi.’ The next day, Steve (Zima) contacted my husband and told him that Lit wasn’t for sale. But, he and Lauren (Zima) had been talking and were busy enough with The Nines; they have one store in Detroit Lakes and another in Fargo … He asked if we wanted to buy Lit.”

Fegely said when her husband came home that evening he informed her “something weird happened” before laying out the details of the business opportunity.

A shopper perused the showroom of Lit Decor & Gift. The store is located at 908 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

“It was a plot twist I didn’t see coming,” she said. “I wanted to cry; I mean, who does that?”


That was a question Fegely asked herself a few more times after accepting the Zimas' offer and purchasing the store. For example, Fegely said the Zimas attended a market show with her to introduce vendors and contacts, as well as ensured she received the same deals and treatment as they did when they owned Lit.

“I want to take this as an opportunity to honor Steve and Lauren (Zima),” Fegely said. “They gave us an opportunity and have been encouraging and available every step of the way — they are truly beautiful people.”

Lit Decor & Gifts has a variety of items, including a fun coffee table book about rental cabins in Minnesota.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The Fegelys found the same support from the staff at Lit. The new owners had concerns that some employees may leave, as can be the case when ownership transitions occur.

“The employees are the pillar,” Fegely said. “They stayed, dug in and, I believe, ensured our success.”

The strong clientele base and opportunities for expansion also provide the store with a bright present and future, Fegely said. Lit is located in a 14,000-square-foot building, with an attached warehouse to offer decor and gifts for any style. Shoppers will find decor spanning from a Scandinavian flair to vintage colors and designs to modern lines that offer a clean, crisp and modular concept. With JCPenney closing in May, Fegely said the store is also expanding its baby section to ensure that need is met locally.

The store space may also grow as Fegely said they are looking to create a consultation space to assist customers with design concepts. Fegely has a lot of experience with design, as that has been her mainstay work for the past several years with her business Universal Interiors .

The 1993 graduate of Christian Fellowship School of Detroit Lakes is the youngest of 10 children of Dave and Yvonne Seaberg. She remained living in her hometown and is proud to be a member of the vibrant downtown business community, and doing her part to help all local businesses succeed.

“I believe we all belong at the top,” she said.


Lit Decor & Gift is located at 908 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes, and can be reached at 218-844-8103.

The Pendleton brand is a new addition to Lit.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune
Lit Decor and Gifts offers framed pictures and tabletop decorations that fit a variety of styles.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

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