While the lure of Door County’s majestic shoreline and stunning natural beauty are undoubtedly the primary draw that brings generations of people to the area, there are other reasons people love to return year after year.
For thousands of visitors, a trip to Door County means a chance for a little retail therapy in a quest for unique finds and gifts they can’t find anywhere else.
In Our Door County: Retail Therapy, we meet some of the people behind the unique boutiques, stores, and outfitters that make the peninsula and Washington Island a shopper’s paradise. From artisan soaps to clothing made right here in Door County, to personally selected clothing lines and hard-to-find products, there’s no end to the the surprises shoppers can find for everyone on their wishlist for the holidays or any time of year.
Megan O’Meara of O’Meara’s Irish House said running a store in Door County takes long hours, but it’s worth it.
“When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel as much like work,” O’Meara said.
In Ephraim, John and Peg Lowry’s journey to Door County began like many others, with a family vacation here. Later the couple sought an opportunity to make their lives here, opening the Blue Dolphin House 50 years ago. Today they still love connecting with customers and helping them find the perfect gift or piece for their home.
“When you walk in they’ll meet you, thank you for shopping, it’s a totally different experience,” John said.
Here, owners talk not about customers, but friends.
O’Meara said she loves to get to know people on a personal level as they come back year after year. Like O’Meara, Mark Schuster of Bay Shore Outfitters said retail in Door County is about building relationships, a process he loves.
“Every little shop up here is different in many ways,” said Jeni Bexell of Spot. “We all try to carry different products and offer something you can’t find anywhere else.”
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