Shop Main Street
Online is working with the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce
to give each of its members a free enhanced director
listing valued at $379. Mike Jackson of C. Wiesler’s
purchased an upgraded enhanced listing knowing that Shop
Main Street Online would donate $100 to Jackson’s
preferred nonprofit, Mel’s Charities, and to the
chamber. By doing so, he was recognized as a socially
conscious business owner. Pictured, from left, are Tom
“Mel” Stanton, Chamber Executive Director Maggie Dobson,
Patty Gallun Hansen of Shop Main Street Online and
Photo by Mark Justesen/Conley
CEDARBURG — As a longtime small business owner who sells
her jewelry inventory online, Patty Gallun Hansen’s
frustration had reached a breaking point.
“I had been on Etsy and it was just getting so
expensive,” she said. “Sometimes I had a bill of $200 to
$300 a month, without even selling anything. There are
so many hidden fees.”
That was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Though
Etsy touts itself as an e-commerce site focused on
handmade, unique and vintage items, Gallun Hansen
noticed a new type of vendor appearing on the site.
“It seemed to be that there were many more bigger
companies and foreign companies,” she said. “I’m a small
business owner. I can’t compete with that in the
Gallun Hansen is a graduate gemologist and owns a
70-year-old family business, Dorothy Gallun Fine
Jewelry. She also previously owned another small
business, What’s Poppin, a popcorn store in Cedarburg.
She’s no stranger to the challenges of owning and
succeeding as a small-business person.
Around the same time that her frustration was boiling
over, Gallun Hansen received her letter from the
Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce asking her to pay her
“I called up (former) Executive Director Jen Andreas and
asked her what was in the membership for me,” said
Gallun Hansen, who actually used to serve in that role.
“She, of course, said everything I would have said and
then I said, ‘Give me a half hour of your time and I’ll
pay my membership.’” She had actually been working on an
idea, one for small businesses just like hers, and she
filled Andreas in, who responded positively, according
to Gallun Hansen.
“I was looking into the possibility of creating a
multi-vendor platform for small businesses, one that
created another commerce channel for small American
businesses,” she said.
When she initially started checking into what it would
cost to take the idea from concept to reality, she
encountered sticker shock.
“I was looking at anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000, so
I put that on hold,” she said.
And then she remembered a longtime friend with an
extensive career in information technology, Brian
“I explained my idea to him and he agreed to do it for
free if we could be partners,” she said. “He believed in
the idea that much.”
The business, Shop Main Street Online —
shopmainstreamonline.com — had what Gallun Hansen called
a “soft live” launch in June 2018.
“We wanted to make sure all the bugs were out before we
really started to promote it,” Gallun Hansen said. “I am
at 150-percent confidence that the site is running at
its optimum level now. We do have traffic to the site
and we do have people selling things; our food vendors
are doing well.”
Unlike other existing online platforms, Gallun said that
the Shop Main Street Online site is much kinder to small
businesses and requires no up-front or listing fees.
“It’s a straight 10-percent commission and that includes
your bank fees,” she said. “You don’t pay anything until
you make a sale.”
“We give American businesses a risk-free way to sell
their products or services online, without having to
worry about the expense associated with building their
own e-commerce site or website,” said Bateman in a press
Additionally, Shop Main Street Online donates 10 percent
of its profits to participating communities and
Locally, Shop Main Street Online has created an
agreement with the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce to give
each of their members a free enhanced directory listing.
“Mike Jackson from Wiesler’s made the decision to
purchase a upgraded enhanced listing knowing that Shop
Main Street Online would donate $100 to Mike’s preferred
non-profit, Mel’s Charities, and to the Cedarburg
Chamber of Commerce,” Gallun Hansen said. “By doing so,
he is recognized a socially conscious business in
Cedarburg. A certificate and door decal at his business
tells his patrons that he is a supporter of the
community we live in.”
Gallun Hansen said she’s been making presentations to
different chambers of commerce groups, business
improvement districts and other similar organizations
about the site.
“Some are really interested, some people aren’t, but
that’s OK,” she said. “There is absolutely no reason
this can’t be the next Amazon for small, American
businesses because we are a force to be reckoned with.
When individual American businesses succeed, we all