Business owners get in the Halloween spirit

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009
— On Main Street, eyeballs bob and dragon claws swirl in glowing liquids among the apothecary jars of a mad scientist.

On Milwaukee Street, a ghoulish tailgate party features a headless griller.

The owners of the two downtown stores have made it a tradition to decorate their windows for seasons and holidays.

Passersby reward them by sticking their heads in the door and giving them thumbs up.

"People love it," said Sarah Kopp, co-owner of Perfectly Plus Women's Consignments, 123 N. Main St.

Theresa Eklund, owner of Associated Collectors, 113 W. Milwaukee St., said the windows help dress up the downtown. Her business is across from a bank drive-through, and the windows give the customers something to look at as they're waiting.

Kopp's most recent get-up was inspired by cheap black lights her partner found at a garage sale.

Highlighter pens gave up their lives to put the glow in the witch's stew and eye-of-newt potions. She said her bathroom looks like a giant lab experience gone bad, with green streaked all over.

It's better at night, when the stuff starts to glow.

Kopp got into the window business after the flood of 2008. She created a Main Street Beach window that attracted the interest of those who came downtown to witness the rising waters and flying carp.

Now, the windows are creative outlets. And people have come to expect it.

Kopp spends time pawing around Goodwill or rooting in her storeroom, which she calls her "magic closet."

Eklund said her employees deserve the credit for keeping her two large windows decorated for nearly a decade.

Once, the business won first prize in a downtown window contest with decorations that looked like a snow globe scene. Eklund said her business really has nothing to advertise so other times they have helped advertise for community organizations, such as the Tallman House.

Eklund said employees Elise Gerke and Ryan Peterson come up with the ideas, although Peterson recently left employment there.

"We just like to dress it up for the holidays," Eklund said. "There's a lot of space to fill.

"Otherwise, it's just an empty storefront."

Last updated: 11:38 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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