For over 45 years one store in downtown Asheville stood the test of time on Haywood Street. Now, Kim’s Wig Center is closing its doors. Meet the owner who wishes she could pass on the unique and quirky legacy of downtown Asheville’s only wig shop.

I never dreamed how much this shop was loved by the community. . . Some of [the customers] are like my best friends.

Sandy Kanupp, owner of Kim’s Wig Center

Character, Community and Wigs

Asheville is home to a variety of quirky stores, but downtown’s only, and famous, wig shop has added its own brand of uniqueness.

Kim’s Wig Center has been featured in movies and is known for its display of over 600 colorful wigs, as well as its welcoming owner who is passionate about her business.

“I never dreamed how much this shop was loved by the community,” said owner Sandy Kanupp. “Some of [the customers] are like my best friends. We’re very close and we talk a lot.”

Helping Customers Find Their Look

The business began in 1973 with the store’s namesakes, the Kims. But since 2003, Kanupp has been helping people find the perfect look with her wigs and knows the process well.

“Finding a perfect wig takes a few tries. We try to find the one perfect for them,” she said. Kanupp helps customers try on wig after wig until they find the one they love. Specifically, the shop specializes in cancer patient and costume wigs.

Closing After Over 45 Years

Now, Kanupp is retiring to spend more time with her grandchildren. After over 45 years with a loyal following, Kim’s Wig Center is closing its doors.

“It just brings a tear to my eye,” said Kanupp, “and I wish we can pass down to someone else to continue this shop. But it’s not going to happen, and it’s making me sad.”

While Kanupp is “tickled to death” to retire, she will miss the business that is close to her heart.

“When we close the door for the last time, I’ll probably cry and have a boo hoo moment for me for a little while,” Kanupp said, “but then I’ll shake it off and move on.”

Visit Kim’s Wig Center’s website for more information.


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