Making the most of her resources
Downtown West Bend business expands its offerings

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News

Sept. 27, 2017

Janalee Bach smiles as she talks about one of her favorite images she has captured while working as the primary owner of JB Photography on Tuesday at The Teal Ribbon in West Bend. The Teal Ribbon is a home goods store that houses more than 20 vendors and their items. Bach has her photography business in The Teal Ribbon, which she also manages.
John Ehlke/Daily News


There are those who work and then indulge their passions outside their careers. There are also people who somehow manage to find a way to monetize their interests.

Janalee Bach, a high school instructor, is also an entrepreneur who has managed to make multiple uses of the space she rents in downtown West Bend. Her location serves not only as a place for her burgeoning photography business and a studio used for art classes, but it also showcases artwork for guests to view.

Her latest venture is named The Teal Ribbon, 258 N. Main St., West Bend, which essentially serves as a gallery for local artists to display their work for a nominal monthly fee while they retain all the profits generated from the sale.

“At this point for Wood N’ Art, because we were hiding up there along Sixth Avenue above another store, I came to this point where I either needed to expand and really treat it like a business or figure something else out,” she said.

A collection of decorative pillows from The Flying Turkey are seen on display Tuesday afternoon at The Teal Ribbon in West Bend. The Teal Ribbon is a home goods store that houses more than 20 vendors and their items.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Wood N’ Art is the name of the second business she started that gives clients an opportunity to design and create wooden signs for events or decorations for their homes. The idea for the business came from her wedding.

She and her future husband had planned a barn wedding complete with signs that provided directions for guests and augmented the ambiance for the day’s festivities. When she contacted vendors when planning for the wedding, she realized the costs for the idea began increasing.

That was when Bach had the idea of offering a service where clients can make signs on their own for special occasions or to decorate their home. She researched the idea on the internet on sites such as Pinterest and soon after opened her first location along Sixth Avenue.

The site would serve two purposes: one for Wood N’ Art and the other to be a meeting place for clients for her wedding portrait photography business.

“This is actually what started it all,” she said when pointing to a wall of photos. “I have had JB Photography for three years now. Then when I wanted a space for my meetings so I wasn’t always at Starbucks, that is when this other place came about.”

When she transitioned to a more visible location, she had more space than what she needed, so she rented some of the floor to vendors who wanted to sell their items.

“It came about because I had the extra space,” Bach said. “I thought this awesome place, why not share it with other people? As an artist, I know it is difficult to get your stuff out there to sell.”

For $4 per square foot per month, artists can display their work. The artists’ items can’t conflict with other displays and must be tasteful.