Krin Finger: Santa & Owner of the Rare Pair


Krin is our fearless leader. She has owned the store for almost 27 years and is the brains behind it all. She loves a theme and works hard to create and maintain a beautiful store. We can give her the title of “Santa” because she knows what is going on with every aspect of the store and pays attention to the smallest needs and details… she ALWAYS checks her list twice!

We know you love a theme – tell us about the theme for this year.


Oh! How I love a theme! This year’s Holiday Window Display & Ad Campaign Theme is “Give a Gift of Comfort & Joy!” We usually start brainstorming for the Holiday windows and ads at the end of the summer. I was imagining a “Merry and Bright” theme for this year, but Juley Jenkinson came up with the “Give a Gift” theme & idea of using wrapped gifts as the backdrop for our windows. The design team got to work on choosing a color scheme, which Lisa Mathre built on to create our white-background ad campaign for local and social media. As we were paging through wrapping paper catalogs, it dawned on me that we had a lot of leftover wrapping paper from over the years that all seemed to coordinate pretty well together. Buffalo Plaid, Snowflakes, Stripes, Nordic Designs, etc. all tied together by our signature red ribbon. Mid-October, we started collecting shoe boxes and recycled boxes of all shapes & sizes. The entire staff pitched in and helped with the wrapping. It was a wonderful RP team effort this year! Window installation day: Emily Oberto, Juley Jenkinson, Dale & Ethan Finger and myself. My sister-in-law, Debby Larsen even pitched in this year! Since 2009, Debbie Butterfield & Juley Jenkinson have been the lead members of our Design Team. Most of the credit goes to them but they humbly always include the whole team. *Debbie was traveling this season – designing showrooms for her full time position at Midwest-CBK in Cannon Falls. I am thrilled that we were able to reuse old store materials and recycled items this year! A special thank you to our intern, Emily Oberto, for her help this season. I bet she didn’t have a clue how much work went into our windows and ads until she spent an unbelievable amount of time prepping, and then 14 hours installing the windows in one day! 

How many boxes are in the windows?

I stopped counting at 500 wrapped boxes. We should have had a contest: “Guess how many presents are in the windows?” 

Where do you get your inspiration for designs and displays?

Inspiration for displays comes from everywhere! I like to walk around hardware stores, go to flea markets and antiques stores, window shop and scroll through Pinterest when I have the time. For ads, Lisa and I share a private Pinterest board and a large file of magazine clippings for photo inspiration. But, most of the inspiration comes from meeting for dinner/drinks with the visual teams. After filling up almost 2 storage units full of props and displays, I have become much better at reusing things and  finding people that like to borrow or trade display items with us. We have met some great folks this way! 

How many displays/themes do you think you’ve done? Tell us about your first one.


I have been doing displays since the 1980s. I started displays at Serendipity in Northfield when I was in college. When I purchased The Rare Pair in 1991, there were 3 windows. We now have 5 windows to display. My mom helped me with my first window display at The Rare Pair. I learned so much from her about fashion and display. She worked at Perman’s in Northfield for several years and then worked with me for a while. Her attention to detail is something I am so proud to have inherited from her. One of the first windows I remember doing for Christmas was when I was 9 months pregnant with my first son, Blake. A friend & I stenciled holly on the border of the windows. Not sure I had a theme back then? A past employee, Lujean Paulson, did The Rare Pair windows for several years. She had a knack for such unique windows and she made it look so easy. I have always appreciated her for that. Everytime I do a new window, I recall her advice: Start with the big picture/idea and theme, then scale it down. “Less is Always More.” Jill Enestvedt has helped me out over the years too. I think she was grateful when the Design Team was formed. But, when we need something artistic done, we call on Jill. 


My Son, Ethan (left), has shown an interest in window design too. He has helped us out with several of them. And Dale, of course, is the guy behind the scenes that helps out with everything!

Krin Finger