Mall hires new marketing director

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, February 3, 2010

After a short hiatus, Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea now has a new mall marketing director.

Though she’s only been in the position for a little more than two weeks, Kari Fjeldberg, who is also the owner of Classic Reflections Salon & Spa, said she already has many ways she’d like to market the mall and bring more people in its doors.

“I have a vested interest in what happens at the mall,” Fjeldberg said, noting her involvement as a small business owner there. “A lack of things happening here at the mall means less revenue.”

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Fjeldberg, whose business received the honor of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year Award in October, said she is backing out from behind the chair of her salon because of health reasons, and the new job will give her an opportunity to both run her business and market the mall.

“It’s like being able to have the best of both worlds,” she said.

She replaces Clarks Grove woman Beth Staser, who had started in the job last July.

Fjeldberg has already formed a complete marketing plan, which shows potential revenue that could come in from different events.

“Right now I would like to see a lot of things going on, and not just on Saturdays and Sundays,” she said.

Of some of the ideas she has in mind, Fjeldberg said she’d like to see the mall host a chess tournament and bridge tournament, along with canine demonstrations with the Albert Lea Police Department.

She would also like to have a church choir celebratory event, where church choirs could perform and even compete if they wanted to.

She said she wants to continue with the successful events the mall has had in the past for entities such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the United Way. But then she also wants to try some new avenues and bring back some old events that have been forgotten.

Fjeldberg said she wants to work with Tone Music to bring some local bands in regularly for the younger crowd and would love to host a skateboard and BMX expo.

Around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, she wants to work with local bakers for an event where people can learn to decorate their own Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cakes.

She’d also like to get involved with teacher appreciation events, and during the back to school time, she wants to have some live mannequins in windows.

“There’s a lot of stuff up my sleeve so to speak,” Fjeldberg said. “It just takes longer than just a couple days to put into effect.”

She said she used to work roughly 55 to 60 hours a week at the salon; now she’d like to spend that same amount of time between the two jobs.

Barb Fate, mall property manager, said she looks forward to work with Fjeldberg.

“She’s a vibrant, fun person,” Fate said. “She’s not intimidated by crowds; she’s not afraid to fail. If something doesn’t work, she’ll try it a different way next time.”

She said Fjeldberg always comes to the mall’s monthly merchants meetings full of ideas and valuable input.

“We thought she would be a perfect blend for the mall because she does have a vested interest,” Fate said.

The position became open after an “unfulfillment of contract” with the previous marketing director, she said.

If people can’t find Fjeldberg at the mall office, they can find her at the salon, and vice versa.

Fjeldberg said she will always be in the mall office on Mondays, but other days will be more flexible.

If people have any ideas or connections for events, Fjeldberg encouraged them to contact her with the information.

The mall marketing office can be reached by phone at 377-3185 or by e-mail at

It is at the end of the food court across from the Cinema 7 theater.