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DL businesses disperse from sold building

DL Floral & Gifts moved from its location on 833 Washington into the Washington Square Mall. Owner Val Voigt, left, says she’s thrilled with her new space and increased foot traffic. Employees (from the left) Danika Leitheiser, Karen Ackerson and Teresa Voigt are also helping get the shop completely settled into its new location.(Missing from photo: Katie Brainard). Paula Quam/DL NEWSPAPERS

Small business isn’t always pretty pictures and roses, and although it is for the owners of DL Floral and Gifts and Laura Wagoner Portrait Studios, their business plans have been significantly changed.

The two businesses that once shared a space at 833 Washington Avenue in downtown Detroit Lakes were forced to relocate when the owner of the building sold it to a buyer in the Twin Cities.

The women, along with the Schurman & Winters Law Firm, which also occupied a space in that building, all went looking for a new spot.

“Laura Wagoner and I really wanted to find a place together,” said Val Voigt, owner of DL Floral & Gifts, “but we just couldn’t find a space that was going to work for both of us.”

Voigt moved her shop across the street and into the Washington Square Mall, right next to the Eagles Club.

“I’m thrilled,” said Voigt, who stayed open during the transition last week, “I think it’s a great move for us. You can’t compare a mall location to anything because when somebody has to physically open a door and step inside as opposed to walking by and just wandering right in, it’s no comparison.”

In addition to an increase in foot traffic for DL Floral & Gift, Voigt says she also got the chance to revamp her look a little with a new, chic gray-blue color on her walls and a much more efficient, open layout.

The shop will be having slightly longer hours now being in the mall, as well as being open seven days a week.

“Before we were only open by appointment on Sundays,” said Voigt, who says she’s looking forward to the mall’s extended holiday shopping hours, as well as participating in mall activities.

“We had the Halloween Hoot in here last weekend, and there were just tons of people all over the mall,” she said excitedly, admitting that the buzz of that event gave her the feeling that she had definitely made the right move.

There will be an open house for DL Floral & Gifts on Nov. 22.

Offices on Lake

By the time Laura Wagoner had to leave her space on Washington Avenue, she had already been “picturing” herself in a larger studio.

“I was already starting to outgrow it,” she said from her spot in the newly-named Offices on Lake, located at 904 Lake Avenue. The building, which was recently renovated on the inside, is what most people around town remember as the old David Donehower Funeral Home across the street from the courthouse.

A sign out front that reads “Offices on Lake” also include a list of the building’s tenants, which right now is Laura Wagoner Portrait Studio, the Schurman & Winters Law Firm and will soon include Tim Westbrook’s First Choice Mortgage.

Wagoner may joke about “the spooky basement,” but she says actually, the new construction inside gives the location a new feel.

“And it’s all upper grade, top of the line stuff,” said Wagoner, who now has a much larger studio space, as well as her own spacious office and storage area.

The businesses in the building will share a conference room and break room that are still getting their finishing touches of construction.

Although Wagoner says she will really miss sharing a location with Voigt, she says her new spot is also a good one.

“And it’s still only a block from downtown, kitty corner to the mall, so there are a lot of people around — I think it’s a great location.”

Wagoner says she’ll also have an open house sometime once she has her space all finished up.

Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.

(218) 844-1466