Biz Buzz: Architect couple joins Dubuque firm; sewing business marks 1 year; landscaper to open nursery

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Stockton, Ill.

A Dubuque couple are bringing their architectural skills to a larger firm.

Andrew and Emily McCready, who launched 563 Design in 2017, have joined FEH Design in new roles.

“We were in the position where we were growing, too,” Emily said. “Together, we can do a lot.”

563 Design, 1268 Locust St., focused on historic preservation, commercial and residential projects in the Dubuque community. The commercial and historic preservation sides of the business will be brought to FEH Design, which has offices in three locations in Iowa and one in Wisconsin.

Andrew is a principal architect and holds an ownership stake at FEH Design. Emily is taking on a business development role as an opportunities specialist.

Kevin Eipperle, who became president of FEH Design on Jan. 1, said he had been thinking about asking the McCreadys to join the firm’s team for a while. While FEH Design has a focus on local communities, he said, the firm’s expertise has attracted jobs as far away as Milwaukee.

“We thought we were getting pulled away locally, and that’s one of the things that they do great,” Eipperle said of the McCreadys.

563 Design will not be completely phased out, the McCreadys noted. The firm will remain focused on completing ongoing residential projects throughout the rest of the year.

The couple said they previously worked with a large architectural firm in Oklahoma, and they look forward to working with a large group of employees again.

“For so long, it’s been Andrew and I as a team,” Emily said. “Definitely the benefit of working in a larger firm is that team dynamic. I think that will be a benefit creativity-wise, and we’ll have more capacity to work in the local community.”

FEH Design’s Dubuque office is located at 951 Main St. and can be reached at 563-583-4900.

Stockton woman marks one year of upholstery, sewing business

A Stockton woman is celebrating one year of her upholstery and sewing business.

Michelle Hubb, owner of The Sewing Room and Workshop, has run the business for the past year out of her home in Stockton.

“I really love the creative aspect that goes into each and every piece,” Hubb said. “Every piece is unique. In the 30 years I’ve been doing (upholstery work), it’s rare that I’ve duplicated one piece to the next.”

Hubb has been exposed to upholstery and sewing work her whole life. Her parents previously owned Meadowdale Upholstery in Carpentersville, Ill.

However, she took a break from upholstery around 16 years ago due to her health, including a cancer diagnosis.

After becoming cancer-free, Hubb decided to start The Sewing Room and Workshop to continue her upholstery work, sell fabric and offer other sewing services.

“I was just putzing around the house, and I realized I didn’t have any pain anymore, and I could do this work again,” she said.

After working out of her home for the past year, Hubb said she has outgrown the space and is looking for a physical location in Stockton. The move also would allow her to hire employees and expand her services to include quilting services and selling quilting materials.

“Stockton is quite an avid quilting community,” Hubb said. “There are quilting shops in the area but none in Stockton.”

The Sewing Room and Workshop can be reached at 815-238-6663 and found on Facebook at facebook.com/thesewingroomandworkshop.

Dubuque landscaper to open nursery

A Dubuque landscaping business owner has moved into a new location and soon will open a nursery selling plants and planting materials.

Jake Bohr, owner of Bohr Custom Curbing, plans to open Cornerstone Nursery on April 11 at 4101 Pennsylvania Ave. Bohr said the building previously housed Nauman Nursery before he and his brother, Joey, moved into the space about a year ago.

“My business (Bohr Custom Curbing) was in the basement, and we were fixing up the upstairs,” Jake Bohr said. “People were looking at it and wanting us to spend more money on fixing it. I’ve always had this nursery idea in the back of my mind, and I told my brother, ‘If we’re going to spend money, let’s spend it for me rather than someone else.’”

Bohr said he has been doing landscaping-related jobs in the area since he was in high school, providing lawn care services to 20 houses. Over the years, he developed an interest in plants, giving him the idea for a nursery.

The Pennsylvania Avenue location has gone through an extensive remodel, including making the space American with Disabilities Act accessible. He added that he kept the exact plans for the space under wraps until it was complete.

“Everyone was always curious about what was going on,” Bohr said. “They would be walking by and ask, ‘What is going on inside that building?’”

At the nursery, customers will be able to buy a variety of plants, including vegetables, at the garden center and greenhouse. Also, planting materials such as rock and mulch will be sold.

Bohr added that the landscaping business still will operate out of the space as well. A landscaping design team, which includes his brother, will be there to work with customers.

“We just want to be able to serve the customer from start to finish,” he said. “From the very beginning, we do the landscaping; we do the plants. It’s the total package.”

Upon opening, Cornerstone Nursery’s tentative hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to noon Sundays. Bohr said these hours might change, and he is considering staying open later one night per week.

The business can be reached at 563-552-0321.

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