Alice’s Haus Dresin, Ltd. is celebrating 20 years of business in the Perry community on Friday, Aug. 4, and Saturday, Aug. 5. The 20-year anniversary celebration will include food and refreshments, along with a sale taking place in the store from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I want to thank all the local people for their support,” Alice Miskimins, owner of Alice’s Haus Dresin, Ltd. said. “You don’t realize how many people you’ve helped until you go around and some people recognize you.”
The home decor shop has helped design, decorate, furnish, paint, and bring a feeling into homes since it’s start, a tag line that owner Alice Miskimins prides herself on.
Growing up, Miskimins yearned to have a home like her friends: pretty, inviting, and cozy.
“I guess I basically grew up always wanting to remodel the house I grew up in,” Miskimins said. “As I grew older, I realized that it was just a matter of what you did with your surroundings that was actually a feeling - it wasn’t a look, it was a feeling.”
Miskimins began to read books on paint while her friends read magazines, diving further into her interest of decorating specific rooms to a certain style.
“Nobody was interested in the kinds of things I was interested in when I was 13,” Miskimins jokes.
Later in life, she took a job at Stokely Lumber in Perry where she spent 12 years selling carpet and paint. Miskimins met Nancy Tice-Graney, a fellow employee, at Stokely Lumber. When Miskimins bought the interior portion of Stokely Lumber, she hired Tice-Graney in the process.
“When things changed at the Lumber Yard and things changed in my personal life, it seemed like the perfect time to open up my own business,” Miskimins said.
Inspired by an antique shop in Wall Lake, Iowa, Miskimins decided that her first business would take place in an older-looking church. After completing research on the development, the plans for the building were drawn up in 1998.
Alice’s Haus Dresin, Ltd. moved to its current location on 924 Otley Avenue and has been in that location for seventeen years.
People have often asked how long the church has been in the community, mistaking the business’s building for an actual church. The name of the business is also questioned, mistaking “dresin” for a restaurant in contrast to a home decor store, Miskimins describes.
“It’s pronounced house and all of my grandparents are from from Germany,” Miskimins explained about the name of the business. “I was trying to come up with a name of the store for quite a while. I was actually looking through a cookbook and saw that the word ‘dresin’ meant trimming and I thought it be trimmings to anything.”
The inside of the store, appearing both cozy and dimly-lit, was a look that Miskimins hoped would welcome customers.
“I never want people to feel like we were too fancy for them; I wanted everybody to feel like they could come in with their paint clothes on in the middle of a job or run in when they were driving by.”
Since it’s opening, Alice’s Haus Dresin, Ltd. has helped transform homes with the help of employees Tice-Graney and Deb West. Oftentimes, customers are interested in looking at furniture, floor coverings, and window coverings – all components each employee specializes in.
“Personally, it’s window coverings for me,” Miskimins describes. “Nancy has always been furniture and Deb is always paint. Between the three of us, we all have our strong points, we always agree to the point of being able to come up with a solution or a total picture of a project that we always are happy with.
“I’ve been a really strong believer in people being shingled in ages that work together so that everyone doesn’t just have the same ideas.”
The best way to understand what a client is specifically looking for, is typically done through house calls that the business regularly conducts.
“Being able to visit with the client in their home is the most valuable thing you can do because you just get a better feel of what’s important,” Miskimins said.
Throughout her venture in the community, overseeing a number of changing styles and shifts in design, Miskimins has learned a lot in the process.
“The confidence that you gain from having happy customers is the thing that I want to say keeps its fun,” Miskimins said. “It really is a fun business to be in because people are always excited about changing their house.”