Cathy Hergenreder keeps up on gifting trends while making memories at her unique store in Pratt.
Memories, a gift shop located at 110 South Main in Pratt, has been helping shoppers from near and far make Christmas memorable for over three decades.
“Our customers are like family to me,” said owner Cathy Hergenreder.
Hergenreder founded the store in 1986 with her mother, Sue Epp, at its current location, which has doubled in floor space over time as adjoining businesses closed shop and Memories expanded to fill the vacated space with home décor, clothing, gifts and other offerings.
Once known as the “candle store,” Memories has gained notice for carrying essential oils and diffusers, along with Himalayan Salt Lamps, Aspen Mulling Spices and CBD Hemp Oils and Creams from VEO, Hergenreder said.
“We have customers come in who have been in so much pain and they tried the CBD products and tell me how much better they feel,” Hergenreder said. “It makes me feel wonderful to provide this relief.”
Over the years, the store has evolved as trends have changed, but some items, such as Lang Calendars, have retained a dedicated following, popular as wall art as well as for their functionality. Hergenreder said some shoppers come in July to get their calendars and she always is happy to welcome “snowbirds” traveling from north to south for the winter when they make their annual stop in Pratt and at Memories to get Lang Calendars and other items.
Winter items like gloves, beanies and scarves for all ages are currently on display. They disappear off shelves almost as soon as employees put them out, Hergenreder said. Buffalo-check design items are among the most popular.
Hergenreder is assisted at Memories by part-timers Sammy Divine, Cambria Fisher, Susan Lynch, Carol McKenna and Belinda Gimpel. Kim Claycamp, a part-timer of six years, recently moved to Kansas City.
Hergenreder said customer appreciation is most important to her and her staff.
“When someone comes in the door, we greet them. We want them to know we’re happy they’re here,” Hergenreder said.
Memories was awarded the Pratt Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Business Award for 2003-2004 and also in 2004 was honored with a Kansas Business Appreciation Month Merit Award from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Active in the Pratt business community, Hergenreder served on the Pratt Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2001 to 2007 and has been serving on the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee for more years than she can remember.
A holiday tradition Hergenreder enjoys is the lighted reindeer and Christmas trees atop the store awning, which is the last step in decorating before the store’s Holiday Open House.
“When I’m driving down Main Street in the evening, that makes me smile,” Hergenreder said. “I hope it makes others smile, too.”
Memories is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.