Editor’s note: Business of the Week is a sponsored feature that shares the stories of locally-owned and operated businesses in the Wausau area, highlighting the products and services they offer and the ways they contribute to the metro area’s unique flavor. Learn how to feature your business by emailing email@example.com.
This week’s featured business is a downtown Wausau staple that opened in September 1998. Evolutions in Design, 626 N. Third St., is much more than a floral store. Though their dedicated team certainly puts together plenty of bouquets and floral arrangements, they also help new businesses rebrand themselves and pride themselves on their community-first mindset. Randy Verhasselt, owner of Evolutions in Design, took some time to speak with us this week about the magic he creates, the inspiration behind his work and the pride he takes in supporting the community and the people who live here. But Verhasselt is quick to point out that it takes a village to make it all come together.
“This would not work without all the team members working together,” he said.
Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at Evolutions in Design.
Q: When was your business established, and what prompted you to start?
A: We opened in September of 1998. I had worked in retail for 13 years in the floral industry and wanted to start something that was more than a store. We wanted to make shopping a new experience. We wanted to capture an area of retail that didn’t feel like retail. We wanted to make it someplace people felt good to be in and around, someplace to send and share happiness and love.
Q: How did you choose the name of your business? What are you trying to convey?
A: The name was a result of the round barn on Hwy. A, not the Willow Springs barn. While driving by one day before we had a name, seeing the barn made me do a little digging on why they built round barns. That evolved into “evolutions in design.” The constant movement of air and no room for evil spirits. And we are always evolving into the next. We may not always have a plan or know what that may be; however, we flow with and take chances and get inspired by nature and all involved with feelings and the basis of good things.
Q: Tell us about your business. What products or services do you offer?
A: Evolutions in Design has a wide variety of things that we do from daily fresh florals, funerals, events and coordinating weddings and special events. We have helped rebrand companies such as Sconni’s and Tine & Cellar, along with assisting people with the floor plans and decor for their homes and yard design. We push ourselves to do things that we may not have done. But that is the evolution of space.
Q: What makes your business unique? What sets you apart?
A: I believe it’s the true meaning that we are part of a community – more than a store. We reach many feelings through our services, from happy to sad, and transform spaces into areas of comfort and warmth. With supporting the local nonprofits and local art resources, along with our annual 11-11 party to give back. We know that without our community, we wouldn’t be here.
Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing?
A: What we do every day, being able to help people is the most satisfying thing. One thing is the 11-11 party and fundraising for more than 30 organizations last year alone. During the pandemic we have been able to help in a time of need. This is when we all need to be more kind to one another and help when we can.
Q: How have you changed and evolved over time? What’s different now from when you first started?
A: Over the past 24 years we have been able to truly lengthen our reach into the community.
Q: What challenges have you had to overcome? Basically, if you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently?
A: I don’t think we would change a thing. The challenges that we have overcome have been things that I would have never seen coming. Those challenges forced us to learn and change very quickly, and adapt to the new surrounds, the social and economic climates. With COVID, that was challenging, but we have also been through the housing crisis that set the basis that those challenges are bigger than us. We joined with community friends and with other businesses to get through. Together, we united and we stayed strong.
Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Where do you see your business in five years? 10?
A: We have hopes and dreams of expanding soon into a couple other avenues. After the past year, having been through the most challenging challenges of my career, I hope to bring some new varieties and new shopping experiences to the Wausau area. Stay tuned!
Ways to connect:
Evolutions in Design – 626 N. Third St. – Wausau, WI 54403