The Fun Sisters story originated when Patsy Skiba (Owner), a former Northwest Flight Attendant, purchased faux Rolex watches, Burberry scarves, and Gucci bags from street vendors in New York. Back home in Minneapolis, People would ask, “Where did you get those?” Soon Patsy’s sister, Mary Rolbiecki (also a flight attendant), joined Patsy and were selling knock-offs under the business name “Fabulous Fakes” and did home parties.
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!
After being convicted of a federal felony, the sisters had to undergo an extensive amount of community service, fines, and probation. Looking back now they laugh, as these circumstances paved the way for what is now known as The Fun Sisters.
The Fun Sisters Company was officially formed in 1995 when Patsy and Mary operated out of Patsy’s house again doing home parties at customer’s homes and occasional sales at Patsy’s home when it was converted to a store. After a Thanksgiving home party in 2001 when approximately 2000 guests visited Patsy’s house, they decided it was time to open a brick and mortar store and they started a really small store on 58th St and Nicollet in Minneapolis. They were open four consecutive days a month to accommodate their flying schedules.
Patsy knew they needed more space, so they relocated to 43rd St and Nicollet in 2002 and extended their days open to five days a month. Mary, the free spirit and non-stop world traveler decided that operating a “real” store was too taxing on her lifestyle and Patsy bought her out.
The move proved to be hugely successful and the stores following really took off. In 2004 The Fun Sisters was voted “Best Boutique” in the Twin Cities and Patsy was featured in the Good Housekeeping Magazine. “Where it’s not just shopping, it’s an event.”
The Fun Sisters grew to 6 stores with the help of Patsy’s daughters Lindsay and Ashley, Daryl (Patsy’s husband), honorary Fun Sisters, MJ Skiba (Sister-In-Law) and many other friends. Three locations were in the Twin Cities - Minneapolis, Stillwater, St Paul - and three in the Brainerd Lakes Area - Pequot Lakes, Nisswa, Walker. The Fun Sisters were constantly told by customers “I Love Your Store, would you open one in Rochester, Detroit Lakes, Alexandria, Hayward WI, Arizona, Florida, etc. etc. ? Patsy had a desire and belief that their concept would work anywhere.
The company’s traits are based on the old adage that customer service is king and every customer deserves their 5 minutes of fame. They also felt that providing a Fun environment, a quality product at a great price is what keeps the customers coming back. “Fashion and Fun Affordable for Everyone” They were approached numerous times to franchise their business, but owning and running a franchise is not what Patsy wanted. Patsy loves interacting with the customers and was not interested in building a franchise empire.
Originally all 6 locations were operated by a family member. However eventually it was only Patsy and Daryl running all 6, so it was time to downsize rather than expand. Patsy was not willing to sell off The Fun Sisters, her “Baby”, but agreed to reduce as she loves to play store.
In 2015, they closed the original Minneapolis location, due to the manager having a baby and staffing concerns.
In 2016, they sold the Walker, MN location to Mary Engstrom (the manager) and the store is now called Walk-Her-Way.
In 2017, they sold the Stillwater, MN location to the manager and sisters, Sue, Julie and Jodi and the store is now called Downtown Divas.
In 2018, they sold the St Paul location to MJ Skiba (Sister-In-Law) and the store is now called Uptown Girls.
As of 2018, The Fun Sisters is currently operating two locations in the Brainerd Lakes Area that are open year-round: Pequot Lakes and Nisswa. The stores are still operated by Patsy and her husband, Daryl, and their amazing staff.
The Fun Sisters Boutique, The Fun Place to Shop