Skirting the Rules is owned and operated by Nikki Caulfield since 2013. Since then it's moved once from inside of Norby's Department Store to it's current location on Washington Ave near Willow St. We are moving on July 2 to a new location at 820 Washington Ave for a bigger location which will be much more comfortable for our customers!
In the shop, you'll find Nikki's collection of skirts and dresses for sale, as well as space for alterations fittings and tux rental.
Nikki runs the shop alone (hence the frequent chaos!), doing both the alterations that are brought in and keeping up with creating new stock for both the sales floor and the various art/craft shows she does in the summer. All dresses, skirts, and scarves are entirely made in the shop. This is why you can frequently find fabric bolts in strange places when you come in!
Nikki has bachelor's degree in theatre from the University of Minnesota (where her emphasis was costuming, and the basis for the business), and a master's degree in Education from Hamline University (because hey, why not.)
Outside of running the business, Nikki directs (and yes, costumes) the high school one act play and spring play, Shakespeare in the Park, and coaches on the Detroit Lakes high school nordic ski team.
Skirts and dresses in the shop are all fully made in house, from design to completion. Depending on the time of year, you can find new items each week! Not all items are here on the website, as between photographing and uploading it not only takes a while, but sometimes they sell out before they can be put here! Each design only gets one size run and that's it- so when it's gone, it's gone. Fabric is purchased with a particular design in mind, and when there is time it is created! Naturally, as there are 5-8 items made of each style it does take a bit to get them completely finished. (And yes, this is why you can find an untrimmed thread or two on your pieces!)
While technically a designer, Nikki would say she is more of an artist that uses the human body as canvas. She believes fashion is for everyone: all body types, all ages, and makes the wearer feel good, beautiful, and worthy. As fashion is becoming a disposable commodity, she challenges this by creating high quality, long lasting clothing that is unique, affordable, and ethically made in Minnesota. The skirts and dresses utilize various cuts, fabrics in an array of sizes in order to make skirts and dresses that match the uniqueness, quality, and beauty of the person with a balance of style and comfort.
She says: "I source unique, quality fabrics that range in fiber content and knit style depending on the garment, as not all fabrics are suitable for all garments. No patterns are used in the making of my dresses and skirts; I free hand draft each piece as I make it, using only a measuring tape. My garments are also drafted with "real" bodies in mind; using the alterations I do I can see what people frequently want changed from commercial clothing, and can pre-empt those requests in my own, making them fit nearly perfectly (in the right size, of course!) right away in a far more flattering way than commercial clothing."
Stop in to say hello, or to check out what has been created this week!