THIENSVILLE — If you’re looking to elevate your home or business with a new look, whether it be major redecorating, new home decor and pillows or minor design improvements, Thiensville’s Alme Design Co. is here to help.
Located at 161 Green Bay Road, Alme Design Co. is a home staging and design business helping clients highlight each home’s — or business’ — appearance. The company, which opened its new home decor retail location in the historic district Oct. 27, is the largest home staging and design company in southeast Wisconsin.
“We have always been interested in how a space becomes a home and have loved creating our own family space through design,” Owner Carrie Alme and Chief Operating Officer Jodi Kurtz said.
Alme Design Co. originated in January 2017 as a home staging company but has evolved since, now offering a pillow line featuring a signature metallic zipper, home decor, plants and more.
“Our lead designer, who did a lot of our shopping for staging inventory, wanted pillows with gold zippers but I couldn’t find them,” Kurtz recalled. “So I used the downtime during COVID to learn how to make pillows from my mother-in-law. One thing led to another and here we are three years later and needing a bigger production space.” Kurtz added that it was also their dream to open a retail store.
Living nearby in Mequon, it was an easy decision for the couple to settle into the former Betty Johnson Furniture space.
“We love Thiensville and bring our kids to the park all the time. We saw this building that had been on the market for five years and decided to take a look at it.” Kurtz said. “My wife and I loved it and thought this would totally work for our new pillow production and retail space.”
Kurtz spent four months renovating the space, keeping several aspects such as the existing doors and large windows. About half of the building is for pillow production and the other for retail.
“It reminded me of being a kid and going to a pizza place and watching them make pizzas,” she added about the production side that allows customers to see the designers at work.
In addition to its Thiensville location, Alme Design Co. has a warehouse in Mequon where they run their home staging business.
As to how they function, the company gets homes ready for markets by going in and staging everything from vacant to occupied homes.
“When we’re staging a home, every project is designed specifically for who’s going to buy it,” Kurtz said. “We own all of the stock, so we can put together looks designed specifically for the house. It’s not just one look and we’re moving it house to house.”
They also do home staging for real estate companies as well as cosmetic flips, which involves replacing carpet, painting walls and changing light fixtures for owners who’ve been living in their home for decades. Each year, they stage roughly 200 homes and can do about 60 at a time.
“…our goal with staging is marketing to the buyer demographic, which tends to be much younger and likes to be shown how the house can function for them,” Kurtz said. “…We have all of those services in house. It’s one meeting for the homeowner and we coordinate all of that so they really don’t have to do anything except call us.”
The company currently has 20 different design clients — commercial and residential, one being Shorewest Realtors’ Mequon office.
But while creating new designs and helping clients is something they always look forward to, four months in, it’s been the community that has resonated with the business the most.
“We absolutely love the Mequon-Thiensville area and the historic feel plus walkability… The community feedback has been really great. When I was working on the building for four months, the whole east side is windows, so I think I know every single dog in Thiensville,” Kurtz laughed. “And when we opened, people walking by everyday would come and introduce themselves and some would bring their friends in. It’s been great.”
Since the community plays a pivotal role in running their business, the owners hope to offer sip and shop nights, birthday party hosting and other special events moving forward.
Alme Design Co. is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit https://www.almedesignco.com or call 262-505-2945.