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Opening day for Artistic Works by Lu is set for Thursday in the Fremont Center at 3061 S. Fremont Ave.
Photo provided by Artistic Works by Lu
Opening day for Artistic Works by Lu is set for Thursday in the Fremont Center at 3061 S. Fremont Ave.

Kansas-based boutique adds permanent local shop

Posted online

After renting space for three years in the local Harrison House Market, a Leavenworth, Kansas-based retailer is set to open a brick-and-mortar shop in Springfield this week.

Located in the Fremont Center, Artistic Works by Lu LLC is scheduled to host a grand opening on Thursday, with gifts for the first 15 customers and a wine tasting hosted by Macadoodles. Lu Kneuven owns the 3061 S. Fremont Ave. boutique, which sells women’s jewelry, clothing and accessories, and her sister Carla Mendenhall serves as store manager.

This week’s opening marks the second Artistic Works by Lu shop, as Kneuven has owned and operated a storefront in Leavenworth, Kansas, since 2007. Kneuven said renting a 17-by-17-foot space since 2016 in Harrison House Market, a gift and home decor store, allowed her to test customer interest in her products in the Springfield market. Mendenhall also managed that space, which gave Kneuven confidence to explore brick-and-mortar possibilities in the Queen City.

“The location just spoke to us,” Kneuven said of the 1,600-square-foot space at the shopping center near the Battlefield Road and Fremont Street intersection. “It’s a fun atmosphere and very inviting.”

Startup costs were approximately $40,000, Kneuven said, adding she’s on a three-year lease for $2,300 per month with Branson Retail Investments LLC. She noted a license bureau office with the Missouri Department of Revenue formerly occupied the space.

Kneuven began making jewelry in 2002 from her Kansas home as a creative outlet while staying at home with her three children. She said the demand was strong enough that by 2007, she decided to open a shop in Leavenworth, adding clothing and accessories to the operation a few years later.

“I try to hit many markets, from young to the more mature women,” Kneuven said of the store inventory. Prices generally range from $10 to $100, she added.

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