MARSHALL - Keo Rasmussen has always fancied fashion, but last Saturday, she was able to share her passion with the world.
Along with her husband (Chris Rasmussen) of one year, Keo opened the doors to kEo'S Kloset, a unique fashion store located on the corner of Third Street and Lyon Street, next to the Marshall 6 Theater.
"This is something I've always wanted to do," Keo said. "I love clothes, I love purses, I love jewelry, and I always knew I wanted to be in a retail setting. So I just decided in June that I wanted it, and I just started planning and doing all the legal stuff. Then it became a reality."
Photo by Jenny Kirk
New owners Keo and Chris Rasmussen stand just outside kEo’S Kloset, at the corner of North Third Street and West Lyon Street in Marshall.
While starting a business can often have its share of obstacles, Keo said she had an easy transition.
"I'm a big believer that God takes care of everything," Keo said. "When I started this journey, I asked him for a lot of guidance.
"Through him, he opened up a lot of doors for me."
Keo said that getting the building, the lease and the products went smoothly for her and her husband, who has been extremely supportive of her new venture.
"This is more her dream, but I'm helping her with it," Chris said. "We didn't expect quite so many people the first day. We sold a lot of things, especially the purses."
In addition to purses, kEo'S Kloset has clothing, jewelry, scarves and a variety of other fashion accessories.
"My big thing is fashion forward stuff," Keo said. "I like being able to carry things that are different and unique. I like big, bold pieces. I like statement pieces. I guess that's what my store is. I want it to be a statement piece."
Chris pointed out that their new business doesn't have a large inventory at this time, but that it also means less duplication for their customers.
"We don't really have a huge inventory in the back to carry extra, but I think that's a good thing," Chris said. "Then you don't have multiples. People can come in and buy something that nobody else has."
Chris pushed Keo to carry a small line of body jewelry.
"Around here, you have to drive an hour and a half to get anything like that," Chris said. "We wanted to carry just a small supply until people come in and let us know what they really want."
Currently, Keo purchases her products from two different companies, while Chris orders from another one.
"I stick mainly with a wholesale company that I order from," Chris said. "It's considered top-end and all surgical steel or specific wood. That way it's safer for anyone who buys it."
Chris also contributed to some of the construction projects needed in the store.
"I did the shelves," he said. "I did some woodwork in high school. It was just a matter of remembering it and then going with it. Keo bought the top wood and told me how big she wanted the shelf. So I went out and measured out everything else we needed and put it up."
The location of kEo'S Kloset also fell into place for the couple, who both grew up in Marshall.
"I just walked by here one day and saw that the card shop guy was going out of business, and I just got this feeling," Keo said. "I felt that this would be a really great spot. I also work two doors down, so it was perfect."
The couple plans to continue working their fulltime jobs - Keo at Job Jockeys and Chris at Pizza Hut - while also tending to their new venture.
"We still both want to keep our other jobs," Keo said. "We set some temporary hours. We think being open 4-7 p.m. will really help the crowds getting out of school and work. And being open till 7 p.m. give them a better opportunity to go do other things and still be able to stop by if they need to."
While the couple is pleased with the public's response their first week of business, the Rasmussens do plan to do more advertising and possibly extend their hours in the near future.
"I'm very excited," Keo said. "We just have to get the word out."
Keo also has visions of expanding in the future.
"I definitely want to carry a lot more things in the future, especially shoes," she said. "I kind of have a shoe fetish, but it's a big inventory to start with. But that's something I'd like to do later on."
Adding more inventory would likely mean moving to a new location.
"My goal is to grow out of this (shop) and have a bigger store," Keo said. "Then I could carry a lot more things that have to do with fashion."