InDeco moving to downtown Jefferson
JEFFERSON — For Julia Chady, Waldmann’s Shoe Store always has been part of her hometown landscape. She remembers shopping at the downtown shop as a child, and, as she grew older, getting her band shoes there.
Now the historic downtown Main Street storefront is taking on an even greater significance in Chady’s life, as she is assuming ownership of the building as of Sept. 1.
Chady, owner of InDeco Interior Design Company, will be moving her business into the downtown building from her current location — a former bank lobby on the south side of Jefferson.
The interior designer got her start in business working for Jan Niebler Interiors, taking over that business in 2014 and renaming it InDeco. It is a full-service interior design company capable of taking a project from concept through completion and which offers all of the products needed for minor and major remodeling jobs.
“Our business had outgrown this space a long time ago,” Chady said. “Even Jan had contemplated a move. To be able to grow the company, we need more space and more visibility.”
The current location, at 1491 S. Main St., Jefferson, is kind of tucked away by the former County Market.
Chady said that her building hasn’t been in use as a bank for 16 years, but it regularly has bank customers stopping by. Knowing that a move would be in her company’s best interest, Chady started looking at buildings both in Jefferson, where she has been very involved in the business community and is set to come in as the next chamber of commerce president, and in Fort Atkinson, where she resides.
“I love Fort Atkinson, but I see really good things coming for Jefferson, and this is where I’d like my business to stay,” she said.
One day after a chamber meeting, she stood in downtown Jefferson, eyeing up the buildings to see what might be a good fit for her business. She saw several open spots, but for whatever reason, they did not meet her need. However, when she looked at the shoe store, she saw great potential.
Knowing owner Judy Waldmann was of retirement age and could decide to close up shop at any time, Chady wondered whether Waldmann had an exit plan.
Chady’s mother, a Realtor, said she’d be happy to approach Waldmann to feel her out on the idea.
“It took (Waldmann) very much by surprise, as she really hadn’t even thought of retiring, but eventually, she came back and agreed.”
The two business owners decided that Waldmann’s Shoes’ 40th anniversary would be the right time for the building’s sale.
“She needed to strike the right balance,” Chady said.
Chady said she has a lot of ties to Waldmann, whose daughter served as Chady’s nursery school teacher. She said she has considered Waldmann a mentor as a female business owner and a pillar of the community for so many years, and she’s excited to be following in her footsteps in the historic downtown building.
As an interior decorator, Chady naturally is full of ideas for the new space. She plans a first-floor remodeling right away to accommodate her displays and to create a comfortable space for people to come in and get ideas of what’s happening in the interior design work.
“It really appealed to me because of the historical significance of the building,” Chady said, noting that the shop used to be two separate stores, one side of which held the Stoppenbach Meat Market at one point.
She said she loves old houses and architecture and would strive to renovate the building in a way that honors its roots.
The closing on the sale is set Aug. 31.
Chady anticipates the remodeling to take two to three months and she hopes to move in by December.