By Shayna Mace
The Oconomowoc native and owner of Delafield’s The Barn Owl, a home accessories and clothing boutique, shares her world with us.
Yes, I opened the store in April 2014. I went to UW–Stout and studied retail merchandising and management and minored in business, and I did get some experience in retail working in internships. The store name means a couple of different things. The “barn” is that rustic side and the bird itself is whimsical. It symbolizes me spreading my wings and going for my dream, and this is something I always dreamed I’d be doing—little did I know I’d do it right out of school.
It’s been a big learning process for me. There are different things [about] owning a business that I didn’t learn in school, so I’ve had to ask other business owners [what they do]. I would say a unique challenge is getting the right assortment in my store. That’s a constant puzzle I have to solve on an ongoing basis, what the Wisconsin and Midwest customer likes.
I like Whelens Coffee & Ice Cream in downtown Oconomowoc—it’s like a mom-and-pop coffee shop. I’ve tried the restaurant I.d. at The Delafield Hotel and that’s really nice—I’ll go there with a girlfriend or my mom. The Crafty Cow in downtown Oconomowoc is a bar/restaurant with amazing burgers and cheese curds. And I like Bittersweet in Delafield for gift-type of items.
A cropped jacket. You can throw it over a sundress, a sweater or a pretty top and it completes your look. It’s helpful too on a cooler evening.
A large wooden coffee table tray and an eye-catching wall mirror. The coffee table tray can create an inviting space for inspiration and functionality. [In the tray you can put] coffee table books stacked with your favorite candle next to a vase or bowl with greenery.
An eye-catching mirror can add not only interest to a room, but make it seem larger than it really is. I think placing a mirror above a mantle or in a smaller corner of a room, like a reading nook, can immediately solve a decorating dilemma and create a pretty focal point while giving the space a larger feel.
I am loving … shiplap walls, like on my favorite home renovation show, “Fixer Upper.” The shiplap wood panels create a fresh rustic vibe and statement to any wall, whether [it’s] painted or stained to complement any space.
This article was featured in the Lake Country: Summer 2017 issue.
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