By Jennie Zeitler
Meads Department Store in downtown Sauk Centre is thrilled to once again have their front display window entered in the “Window Wars” competition sponsored by Silver Jeans Company of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“We had to preregister,” said Jacki Mead, co-owner with her husband, Terry. “Silver gave us criteria to meet and some props to use.”
Meads has sold Silver Jeans for nearly as long as they’ve been in business.
The Meads moved to Sauk Centre in 1987 when Terry’s position with Schwan’s brought them to town. When he was promoted in 1990, it meant a move to Manitoba.
Then in a very short period of time, Terry’s mom died, the Meads’ house in Sauk Centre didn’t sell and the J.C. Penney building downtown was left vacant.
“It left a big void downtown,” said Mead. “We were asked if we would be interested in opening a store.”
So the Meads returned. “Initially, we were just going to do men’s clothing, but it’s more diversified with both men’s and women’s,” Mead said.
Meads carries clothing and shoes for men, women and children as well as a fully-stocked home and gift section.
They realize they cannot compete with Walmart in some ways.
“We’re a step up. We give a lot of personalized service to those who want it,” said Mead. “It’s the satisfaction; people appreciate the help.”
After 21 years, the Meads know their customers and what they like. Certain products, colors, styles and sizes are often ordered based on customers’ preferences.
Silver Jeans are one of many products carried by Meads, but one that is very popular with customers.
“It’s a nice-fitting jean,” Mead said. “People just love it. Many of the styles come in three to four lengths.”
The Silver Jeans Co. in Winnipeg, Manitoba, sponsors a “Window Wars” competition each year. In 2013, Meads received honorable mention. A photo of their front window was displayed on Silver’s website.
“We were required to use plastic albums and the Silver signage that was sent by the company,” Mead said.
The window display follows the rock ‘n’ roll theme of the competition and must be featured for a minimum of two weeks.
Many people loaned props to the Meads for the window.
“We really appreciate their help,” Mead said.
One of the key items is a blue and white Alamo guitar used by Sauk Centre’s John Wiese when he first started on guitar in the early 1960s.
Wiese played in a local band in the 1960s and again from 1982 to 1993. He and Donny Vosen opened a recording studio in 1983.
After selling the Alamo guitar in the late 1960s, Wiese recently had the chance to buy it back.
“I’ll keep it as a keepsake,” he said. “I hope someday to return it to it’s original (deep red) color.”