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Local Business

Clothing store goes up a few sizes

Kaleel’s expanding to add space for women’s clothing, printing operations

When the Kaleel family started their business more than a century ago, all they needed was a horse and buggy. Today, they need more room and “more ladies stuff,” and they’re getting both.

Longtime men’s clothing store Kaleel’s Clothing and Printing is expanding, and it’s adding more women’s clothing to its inventory and more space for it printing business.

The store had carried some women’s clothing, but owner Mark Kaleel said he had heard from a number of customers that they’d like to see more in the store.

Now they will. Kaleel’s bought property next door to its current shop at 704 N. Galena and is building a two-story addition.

Kaleel, 57, bought the parcel at 111 E. McKenney St. in May, and the nearly 2,300-square-feet expansion should be done by the end of spring, he said.

“We needed more inventory and we needed more storage,” Kaleel said. “Printing needs more storage, and we needed more floor space for retail.”

When the new addition opens its doors, Kaleel’s will have an expanded selection of women’s Carhartt products and more women’s dress clothes.

“It’s typically a men’s store, but I want to put in more ladies stuff in,” Kaleel said. “I want to try and cater to both.”

The printing aspect – Kaleel’s screen prints and embroiders clothing – has grown in recent years, but the heart of the store remains with men’s clothing and accessories. Carhartt work clothes are their main clothing line, but they also carry Wrangler casuals and Van Heusen dress shirts, and they offer tuxedo rentals.

Kaleel’s does free alterations on items purchased there. They’ll do them on other clothing for a charge.

The Kaleel family has been in the men’s clothing business for 115 years, and has been in Dixon since 2014. Mark’s grandfather, Nemer, emigrated from Lebanon and began his traveling dry goods business, Kaleel’s Country Peddler, in Spring Valley at age 17. He opened a brick-and-mortar location in Earlville in 1939, renamed Kaleel’s Mens Clothing, and it later expanded to Amboy and Mendota.

Mark’s parents, George, 87, and Mona, 89, ran the Amboy store until retiring 3 years ago, and they continue to help out with the business. Mark handles clothing sales, and his wife, Renee, and their daughter, Kiara, are in charge of the printing division, which started when the present wing was built in 2016.

“My grandpa started the business in 1905 with a horse and buggy, and I just want to keep it going,” he said.

See the selection

Kaleel’s Clothing and Printing is open at 704 N. Galena Ave. in Dixon from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Go to kaleels.com, find them on Facebook, or call 815-284-5033 for more information.

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