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From family project to thriving business
The Gavronskis are now the sole owners of the building which was christened Cedar Harbor. The name sounds like a business you’d find in Door County, and in fact, the store is reminiscent of shops up in that area. The store features what Gavronski describes as eclectic decor. “I love eclectic,” Gavronski said. “I love a mix, old, new, and I like to create and make things and my husband likes to build. I like to treasure hunt for old and reclaim it. People are throwing things out, if I see something on the side of the road, (I’ll pick it up). I’m saving things from the landfill.”
In 2014 Gavronski and her husband, who are empty nesters, sold the large home they had in Neenah and moved into the completely remodeled apartment above the shop. “We were yearning for simplicity. We love our simple little life.” The property has plenty of space for the couple to work on creating merchandise. There is a full basement with a big workshop for Gavronski’s husband to do his woodworking projects – making things such as cedar planter boxes and benches which are on display in the backyard during warmer weather seasons. Gavronski does her creative work upstairs. She makes all of the wreaths, paper and burlap products, pillows, and signs.
Cedar Harbor has a loyal customer base. People stop in on a regular basis because about every two weeks or so Gavronski rearranges and adds more merchandise to the floor so the place looks different most every time they come in. As a service to their customers, they open up the fenced-in backyard of Cedar Harbor in the summer for events such as showers, girls’ nights out and fundraisers. Gavronski sources items for her store from a variety of places including estate sales, flea markets, online, and the Madison market which is held each January and features mostly handmade merchandise. She does take some things on consignment and will buy items from local artisans at wholesale.
“I love to be creative, I love to rearrange, I love to create things, and meeting so many new people has been fabulous.”
– Lisa Gavronski, owner
Having her dream job, Gavronski said she will do this until she can’t. “I love to be creative, I love to rearrange, I love to create things, and meeting so many new people has been fabulous.”