After seven years in business, the Carousel will be going out of business.

The boutique shop will officially close on Monday, Dec. 31.

"I am not thrilled about it, but it is time," owner Karen Jung said. "It's been an experience, but I am worn out. It's time to make a change."

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Jung has been a part of the Hastings community for over 30 years, and, along with husband Tom, has played a large part in the revitalization of the downtown area, having purchased some of the buildings and serving on redevelopment committees since the '90s.

"I am just so appreciative of the mayor and the council that we had during this period of time because they really just moved it forward," Jung said. "My husband, he has put a lot of time and effort into the downtown area too. That has been a joint effort."

Previously, Jung worked as a project manager for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. She retired in 2005.

That was when the Jungs purchased and remodeled the building that now holds Eye Candy REfind. Before renting it out, Jung ran an antiques store in the building for 12 years and then opened Carousel three years later.

"I enjoyed it a lot - both stores. The antique store just brought in so many people from all over the state and different parts of the country," Jung said. "I closed it though because it was just too much to do in combination with [Carousel]."

Now that she is closing The Carousel Boutique, Jung plans to focus on her art. She currently shares a rented space in the Art Space building down the street.

"I want to do my art work - primarily that - and do some other things that are interesting, like read a book," Jung laughed.

Art, especially pottery, was an interest for Jung while in high school, but she lost touch with it when she entered the working world. After things in life settled down, she found herself with the time to enjoy it again. This time she went digital.

"I started doing my work on an iPad, and for some reason people seem to enjoy that," Jung said. "What is nice about it is that you don't need to clean up the oils."

Jung recently had her work featured in Spaces Magazine, and will be featured again in the December issue.

Both Jung and her husband plan to continue to be a part of the Hastings community, as they will still own their buildings and have no plans to sell them.

"These buildings are just phenomenal. You don't find this anymore, especially along the river," Jung said. "This is a store that does cater to more mature women, so that is going to be a loss here. The stores that are here now are for younger people. So I hope something like that will come in here again."