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Decadent Décor open for business

WORTHINGTON -- Michele Vander Meulen was driving by a building on North McMillan Street when she saw a "for rent" sign in the window.

A couple months later and Vander Meulen opened the doors to Decadent Décor.

"It only crossed my mind because of having back issues and such, I wasn't doing it because I didn't want to do my job anymore," she said Friday morning. "It kind of crossed my mind and I thought about it, but I thought I'm happy with what I'm doing. Then I just happened to be driving by here one day and saw a 'for rent' sign. I checked into it and it snowballed."

Outside of the building, a sign reads "Where we make your house a home."

Inside, the walls have been painted and a new floor was laid.

"Steven Johnson was a huge help and wonderful to work with," Vander Meulen said. "They did the construction work for me, took out a room, took out this partial wall, and raised the ceiling a little bit on the back side. They got somebody to lay the floor for me, otherwise it wouldn't have been done soon enough. They were awesome to work with."

The store has a Christmas theme for the Holiday season, with trees full of ornaments.

But that's not all Decadent Décor has on hand.

"I was looking for something I was never able to find, quality pictures, quality lamps," Vander Meulen said. "I was looking for different. Not like out of the world different, but different things you don't find everywhere. Plus, things for gifts, it's hard to find nice gifts for a birthday or a wedding gift or little things like that.

"I wanted a varied range. Some of the things, like some of my lamps, are higher end. But I also have some that are not. I wanted a good variety for a variety of people."

The doors opened on Nov. 8 at 1607 N. McMillan St.

"I kind of thought it might be a little slow at first because nobody knew about it yet," she said of the opening. "I thought it might be a little trickle at first and hopefully by December it was getting busier. But it was gangbusters, it really was, from the get-go.

"I think I've had a good flow of variety, even some out of towners who heard about it when they were shopping in another store. People from Westbrook have come, people from Windom, Lakefield, Jackson and kind of all around. It's been really good. Some people have driven by, saw the store and came in."

The store is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday while Vander Meulen works at Trends Salon part-time.

"It's just trying to find the right niche for our community and listening," she said. "Since I've worked with the public for a lot of years, I've already heard a lot, 'There's nowhere to go for this or there's nowhere to go for that.' You kind of hear that over and over and over; it's a daily basis you hear that. That was kind of in the back of my head, rolling around.

"I've had probably 90 percent of the people say, 'thank you for doing this, we really needed it.' That's just been the best. It really reassured that I did a good thing."

Even though Vander Meulen has been working at a salon, she's always had a talent with decorating.

"As a family, we've always been kind of good at it," she said. "We were just blessed with having that talent. It's been fun to do our own and for friends and stuff. I've been nudged a little by friends and family. You kind of second guess yourself, but I wasn't unhappy with my other job."

As her business grows, Vander Meulen is hoping to expand her hours and products she carries.

"Hopefully, I'll be open more hours. As soon as the Christmas season is over, I'd like to add to the variety," she said. "I'm thinking there are some really cool guy stuff I've looked at. I kind of played it safe at first. Now, I have some things ordered that will be a little different and updated and try to reach out a little more. It's not just for women."

Decadent Décor will be hosting a Holiday Open House Dec. 13-15, with cider and goodies.

The store is open Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store can be reached at 343-5000.

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Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.