On perhaps the busiest weekend in Edina each year, Deb Rasmussen made the purchase of a lifetime. She and her husband, Paul, bought the store previously known as Live, Laugh, Love (now Wink Gifts and Boutique) on June 3, 2016—the first day of Edina Art Fair weekend—and dove headfirst into life as an owner of a neighborhood gift store.
Previously, Rasmussen worked for a large organization but left corporate America after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A therapist by training, she planned to assist in her father’s care and coordinate any services he needed. Unfortunately, he died suddenly of a heart attack just four months later.
After a period of such change and loss, Rasmussen was presented with an opportunity to think about what she wanted to do next. Having lived in Edina for 12 years and being just a mile from 50th and France, it felt right to find her next adventure close to home.
Live, Laugh, Love had been a part of the Edina community for more than a decade and presented a fun challenge for Rasmussen, who had worked in retail during college and graduate school. Upon taking over the shop, she saw an opportunity to update the product offerings to appeal to a broader demographic.
“As the makeup of Edina changes, it is important for the business to evolve to meet the needs of those living and working in the community,” Rasmussen says. “I want to offer products that resonate with me; something for the kids, a gift for a friend. I want customers to walk into the store and be able to find something for everybody.”
Rasmussen has always focused on thoughtful, strategic change. From the product offerings to the store’s name, she understands the importance of reflecting what the store is and what she wants it to be. Since taking over, the shop has been rebranded as Wink to showcase the owners’ fun retail personality. They’ve also updated the website, cleared out old inventory, brought in new products and enhanced some of the in-store displays.
“Those who have visited us for years will find what they love and those who are unfamiliar will find something new to them," Rasmussen says. "We want to offer something unique and fun that you can’t find on every street corner.”
The store now has expanded hours on Sundays to accommodate leisurely weekend shoppers. But these changes are just the beginning. For Rasmussen, the store is about more than just great products and a fun retail experience. It satisfies her creative need to think outside the box. This is only the beginning of the excitement for Wink.
1. Fjällräven bags are the most convenient and multi-purpose bags available (shown at left). This Swedish company specializes in sturdy and practical—waterproof, breathable, sustainable and 100 percent PFC-free bags. A go-to for laptops, books and daily errands. They can even can be used as diaper bags.
2. Larissa Loden Jewelry by a local artist gives found vintage treasures a new opportunity to shine. Loden transforms items into modern, edgy jewelry. She loves to incorporate gemstones into her collections, utilizing both raw and custom cuts in the designs.