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Business of the Month: February 2022

Arrow Gift Shop



February Business of the Month

Congratulations to

Arrow Gift Shop


 201 E Wall Street

 Eagle River, WI 54521

(715) 479-4903

https://www.arrowgiftshop.com/

Email:  [email protected]


We are delighted to have had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Katie Hayes, owner, Arrow Gift Shop to learn about Arrow Gift Shop and their family business established more than 40 years ago.  

Arrow Gift Shop has such a tremendous history as a family-owned business. How did it all start? 

My parents purchased the Arrow Gift Shop in 1977 when I was six years-old.  The business was an integral part of our family.  We would bring dinner to the store to eat as a family and then my sister or me would stay and work with my dad.  My husband, John, and I purchased the business in 2001. We continued on with the family business by having all of our five kids work in the store. When they were babies, I would bring them to work with me and customers enjoyed seeing them napping or babbling in their swing. Now that both of my parents have passed away, coming to the store is very comforting to me.  I feel very connected to them here even though they are gone. 

There is a fascinating history of the property dating back to 1918. The upstairs and back of the store has served many purposes including living quarters through the years. One of the little back rooms facing Main Street was supposedly the first Eagle River Library. Rumor has it that the upstairs was a dance hall during the Roaring 20's. Who knows who may have visited there as Dillinger and Capone were known to have hideouts in the area.

What is your #1 focus as a business owner?  What do you enjoy most? 

My number one focus is to be successful, continue growing and be an asset to the community. I enjoy the interaction with the customers the most.  I especially enjoy seeing the familiar faces every summer of our returning customers, some of them whom I have grown up with. 

What is unique about your gift shop? 

I think what is unique about our shop is that it is a 2nd generation, family-run business.  We continue to offer the traditional souvenirs that our visitors have grown accustomed to while also offering new and exciting products. 

How has your family business grown, and what are your plans for future growth? 

Our business continues to evolve and grow by expanding our product lines.  We have also expanded in the form of another, connected business – Mary Kate’s Wine Bar. The two businesses are now literally connected through a speak easy type doorway. 

You are actively involved in the Eagle River community, tell us how.  Why is this important to you? 

I have been the President of the Eagle River Business Association for a number of years helping to run events and bring people to the downtown area.  As our organization has merged with the Chamber of Commerce now, I will continue to add support to events in any way I can.  My mother was actively involved in the community and instilled in me the importance of giving back.  It is important for everyone to work together for our downtown to succeed.


Do you know of a wonderful Vilas County business?

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See All Business of the Month

Want to learn why Vilas County is one of the best places to live, work, and play?

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