Fred’s Beds shows off remodeled store, hopes to inspire further growth in downtown
Fred’s Beds in downtown Mayville unveiled their renovated store this summer following the completion of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) seventh annual Main Street Makeover contest.
Beginning in January, the staffs at Wisconsin Main Street and Milwaukee-based Retailworks, Inc. worked with owners Jeff and Janine Andes on interior and exterior improvements to the building’s look and customer experience, while $10,000 from WEDC’s Main Street Makeover program allowed them to implement those changes. Now, with the remodeling complete, Fred’s Beds better uses its space and stands out as an attractive building on Main Street.
“Having the renewed look and cleaning up the building, which was always our intention, shows that we’re investing in the downtown,” said Jeff. “It’s important to us that the downtown has good-looking buildings, and I think it sets a good example for other businesses and people in the community. Maybe seeing this happen will make them more interested in doing something similar.”
Interior improvements include new lighting, a new transaction counter, repainted walls and new decorations. Additionally, the removal of some interior walls has opened up the retail space. New windows improve Fred’s Beds’ look inside and out. Updated interior and exterior signage enhances the shopping experience. Outside, the Andeses built a new storefront with new planters, a new awning and other aesthetic improvements.
Fred’s Beds was eligible for the makeover as a business in one of Wisconsin’s 34 Main Street communities. The Andeses applied in 2021 as well but their store, then operating on a part-time, appointment-only basis while the couple both worked full-time jobs, came up short in the competition. Expanded hours and the Andeses’ greater commitment to the business allowed Fred’s Beds to win the $10,000 award this year.
“We’re overall just more invested in the business and making it grow,” Janine said. “We’re doing our part to help improve the look of the building and Main Street, and I think investing more of ourselves into it surely helped.”
Fred’s Beds has occupied the space since Jeff’s father Fred bought it in 2015;however the building’s history stretches back to the 19th century. To detail its storied past, which includes origins as a furniture factory, Retailworks and WEDC proposed a history wall inside the store.
“I loved the idea—we totally feel the building’s history is important,” Janine said. “Honestly, it’s been my favorite part of the remodel. It’s really cool.”
The contest is designed to raise awareness of the Wisconsin Main Street Program, which provides support and training for communities and organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization efforts. It also provides services and tools for businesses and property owners within these districts. The Makeover program is just one example of the many programs designed to foster business and community engagement and showcase the businesses that bring life to downtown areas.
“This contest provides essential support and funding for the winning business to improve while highlighting the Wisconsin Main Street Program, which has helped create over 2,800 new businesses and 15,000 new jobs in the state since starting in 1987,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “Helping small businesses grow is essential to creating vibrant downtown areas and economically strong communities. WEDC is thrilled to have supported Fred’s Beds and the City of Mayville.”
“It’s taken us to a whole other level I never dreamed we’d go to,” Janine said of the Main Street Makeover award. “Main Street Mayville, Retailworks and WEDC have been not only a great wealth of information, but just a joy to work with.”