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Lah-Tee-Dah opens in downtown Hastings

Since she was a little girl, Hastings resident Katie Kasel has loved shopping and dreamed of opening her own shop. On Tuesday, June 12, that dream came true with the opening of Lah-Tee-Dah.

Lah-Tee-Dah sells contemporary designer clothing and accessories in downtown Hastings.

"This is something that Hastings has needed for a long time," Kasel said.

Her products are trendy and arrive at the store in small quantities, so women looking for something unique can have confidence that they won't be faced with someone else wearing the same thing.

There's something for everyone, including men and plus-sized customers, Kasel said, and she makes it a goal to give everyone special treatment.

"We make it feel like you're the only one (in the store)," she said.

Her store is located at 200 E. Second St., the former Fast Eddie's RC Warehouse. She wanted her store to be part of the downtown atmosphere.

"I just love it down here," she said.

It took her, her siblings and parents nearly three weeks to convert the space from an abandoned hobby shop into a welcoming boutique. The minor renovations gave Kasel a chance to show off her interior design skills.

Lah-Tee-Dah grew out of Kasel's creative spirit.

"I've always had a knack for fashion and interior design," she said, even though she's never had formal schooling for either.

About two years ago, though, she started making custom picture frames out of old barn wood. It started as a gift for her father, but when others saw the frame they started asking if they could buy them.

About 18 months ago, she started doing home parties - private events where she would set up an evening of pampering and socialization for those involved. She's incorporating her parties into Lah-Tee-Dah, as well, she said. The trunk show parties, for groups of family and friends, will be hosted on Mondays, when the store is closed to general shoppers. Anyone who wants to schedule a party can call the store.

Also about 18 months ago, Kasel started researching the fashion retail world to prepare to open her own store. She was a nurse here in Hastings before she took the plunge into entrepreneurship. Much of her inspiration came from her patients - who taught her some skills, including sewing and blacksmithing - and Dr. Engblom, who encouraged her to follow her dream, Kasel said. She also gives credit to her four sisters and her parents for helping her get the business started, and to God, without whom she wouldn't have been able to do any of it, she said.

Since the store opened last week, Kasel has seen a positive response.

"It's been absolutely amazing," she said.

A grand opening fashion show is being planned collaboratively between Lah-Tee-Dah and some other downtown Hastings businesses. The date has not yet been set.

Ultimately, Kasel would like to see her business grow into other cities.

"I want to start a franchise," she said.

Lah-Tee-Dah is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The store is closed Mondays. The phone number is 651-437-9769.