Lynn Riviere McFee of Mount Horeb, 57, has had retail in her blood since the fifth grade.
At that tender age, she worked in her aunt and uncle’s clothing store in Sheldon, Iowa when her family visited from their Minneapolis area home. Now, after a three-decade career with Ralph Lauren, one of the world’s most prominent merchandisers, she is opening her own shop in downtown Mount Horeb, long a mecca for southern Wisconsin shoppers looking for unique stores and restaurants.
McFee on Main is located at 400 E. Main, at the east end of Mount Horeb’s busy downtown business district. McFee and her husband John McFee, a native of the Mount Horeb area, purchased the structure in the spring of 2015. Since then they have transformed the onetime home into a state-of-the-art retail space, with plans for still more improvements in the near future. The official opening is scheduled for early October.
“I love our location,” said Mount Horeb’s newest retailer. “Duluth Trading Co. will anchor the west end of Main, and McFee on Main will anchor the east.”
McFee said her new shop will feature home décor, unique art pieces, gifts, women’s clothing and more. Eventually, plans are to include a small restaurant.
“I want it to be an experience, a fun place to visit,” said McFee. “You’ll be able to find a gift, something for yourself, something for your home. We expect you will find what you are looking for!”
McFee is no novice when it comes to merchandising. Once bitten by the retailing bug, she was unstoppable. She made her career decision in the seventh grade, and then focused like a laser beam on her goal through high school and college. After graduation from UW-Stevens Point, she landed a job with Ralph Lauren, an international design firm that was taking the industry by storm. She grew with the company, eventually being named Senior Director Brand Manager. She officially retired earlier this year.
“I was blessed to have a great career with Ralph Lauren, truly a dream come true,” says McFee. “While traveling in and out of New York, working with major retailers throughout the country, I learned from the best how to build a brand. I worked in all divisions – Men’s, Women’s, and for the last 20 years in Home. I was so very fortunate. I loved every minute of it.”
But she’s not done with retail yet. Now the McFees are living in Mount Horeb fulltime, and Lynn is focusing all of her energy on McFee on Main.
“I always had my eye on a downtown property here,” said McFee. “I knew one day I’d be leaving RL and owning a downtown property and crafting my dream was in the front of my mind!”
McFee was looking to share her own passion for all things artistic. She and John watched the property at 400 E. Main for some time before making their decision. Once they did, however, they were all in.
“It’s been a wonderful challenge to get my dream up and running, while becoming involved in a great, growing and thriving community,” she explained. “I’m saving my travel for my 60s!”
McFee on Main will be donating one percent of quarterly net sales to local community causes – youth and senior programs as well as other non-profits – within a 50-mile radius.