On a busy afternoon in Fish Creek, there’s one place where you can escape the hustle and bustle. Sister Golden’s bright, open atmosphere seems to pull people in right from the sidewalk.
But it’s the art that makes them stay: Rugs, jewelry, candles, woven wall hangings, floral prints and more all try to catch the eye at once. There are pieces made by co-owner Vicki Rawlins, some made by Door County locals and some made far away in Morocco.
And it was this collection of merchandise and shop atmosphere that helped Vicki and her daughter, Brooke, gain national attention from HGTV Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens and Britney Spears, who reposted one of Vicki’s floral pieces on Instagram.
Sister Golden started as an online endeavor while Vicki was in Chicago and Brooke was in San Diego, and its success warranted opening a physical location in Door County in spring 2017. Brooke had spent summers working here, and her parents had a house in Jacksonport. The storefront in Fish Creek sort of fell into their laps, Brooke said.
Now they’re celebrating five years of hard work – and some crazy moments. The pair worked nonstop the first summer, without any extra help. When the second season came around, they knew they wanted to avoid doing that again, so they hired several part-timers. Finding full-time employees in Door County can be a challenge, but finally this summer, they’ve been able to add a full-time staff member to the mix.
And all of the hard work has been worth it because there’s been a great response from the community and the online fanbase. One customer said the shop is like “a breath of fresh air,” and Brooke said that’s exactly what she and Vicki sought to create.
Although there wasn’t time for it before, they’re now looking to host small, celebratory summer events – gallery nights or themed events – to engage the community.
And, like most business owners, they hope to create a good work-life balance so that they, too, can enjoy a Door County summer.
They want to “find a little bit of time in the summer to actually enjoy this incredible place we live in,” Brooke said.