By Janet Wight
These are a few of the seasonal candle scents that you may encounter upon visiting an eclectic, new shop in Milton Square called Studio Karlor.
The store, which opened in October 2021, offers Scandinavian inspired pieces for the home along with giftable items and jewelry. These items are sold at varied price levels, designed to make the distinctive assortment of goods affordable for a diversity of budgets.
The shop is owned by neighborhood resident Karlie Schraufnagel. Part of the shop’s name, Karlor, is a portmanteau or blend of the words Karlie and color.
Bringing people joy and introducing coziness into the home are her main goals, Karlie said recently.
Studio Karlor offers many ways to enhance and refresh the home environment by using hygge (Danish) and koselig (Norwegian) principles of warmth and comfort Karlie said. This helps individuals adapt to video platforms such as Zoom, which often involve the sharing of style and decor from formerly personal spaces in their homes.
Something unique at Studio Karlor: Karlie pours her own signature candles that are made of soy with a wood wick. When burned, these candles produce a pleasant soft crackle that lasts about 50 hours.
An artist, she also produces digital illustrations, which have been made into frameable prints, incorporating scenes from the local area as well as Duluth. The candles and prints are also available in her Etsy shop.
Additionally, the store has a selection of carefully sourced items on display. Karlie shops locally for quality pre-owned clothing, primarily by visiting specialty stores and sales throughout the Twin Cities. These vintage and unique finds are among her best sellers, Karlie said.
Most of the store’s new items have been purchased through social media platforms whose primary purpose is to showcase and sell merchandise from small businesses. However, acquiring locally made products has been an ongoing challenge, Karlie said.
Growing up in the Twin Ports, Karlie said she always knew she wanted to be an artist. She attended Superior High School, where she was awarded the Tony Yaworski Scholarship for excellence in art. She earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn., along with a master’s in graphic design from the University of Minnesota.
Mentors, including her older sister, a close family friend and several professors have been an essential part of her journey and success as an artist, she said. However, she added she regrets not having more retail guidance up front. Her husband Mason encouraged her to establish the business and he has provided plenty of hands-on assistance.
Cold weather along with the pandemic have been the greatest challenges for her business. But Karlie said she expects her imminent move to a new, street level space in Milton Square will provide more visibility. She would like to collaborate with local businesses in order to expand her presence.
Besides being an entrepreneur, Karlie is employed full time as a marketing manager and graphic designer for the Duluth-Superior office of Renewal by Anderson.
Karlie invites shoppers to find joy in the breadth and quality of her lovely, practical and comfortable offerings.
Janet Wight is a resident of Como Park where she lives with her husband and daughters.