When Carol Schroeder was very young, she dreamed of having her own shop. At the age of 21, she bought the building on Monroe Street and started selling furniture.
Madison, Wisconsin: In this episode you meet a master retailer and a quiet hero in her community. She was an early leader in the movement to revitalize Main Street and she's written a popular book called Specialty Shop Retailing. If you get it and read it, you'll find that Orange is happy to talk with you because you just may stimulate her thinking in a new way.
A guru of specialty retail, Carol "Orange" Schroeder with her husband, Dean, started their business soon after graduating from college. Orange's parents saved money for her to go to college. When she completed her degree at Tufts University in three years, they gave her the money she did not spend for that one year of college and a new business was started. That was 1975.
Their business, Orange Tree Imports, is a specialty retail shop in a revitalized business district. Soon after buying the building on Monroe Street, Orange organized a neighborhood business association to do joint marketing and promotion. This group helped to change the orientation of this old shopping district. They refocused it to become a vital area of specialty shops and restaurants drawing people from a wide area beyond the local neighborhood and even Madison.