Alice Miskimins, owner of Alice’s Haus Dresin in Perry, celebrated 25 years in business in 2022. We’re thankful to have you here town even as your business takes you miles outside of Perry and Iowa. We’re happy to be your corporate headquarters. Congratulations on 25 years and many more to come!
Laura: What’s been the biggest surprise in your 25 years in business?
Alice: The day that we got the order to do all the shades at the library. That was the nicest compliment. It was so rewarding to know that they kept the business in town and they trusted my ability with that big of a job.
Laura: What do you love the most about having your own business?
Alice: The amount of appreciation that people show for what we can do for them.
Laura: Do you remember how you felt 25 years ago when you took the plunge to start your own business?
Alice: Yeah. Between excited and in disbelief, and apprehensive. Bob Stokely said that it’s like becoming a parent—you don’t know if you really want to be one or not. I certainly never expected it to be as successful as it has been. Never ever ever.
Laura: What do you think is a key consideration for anyone starting a business?
Alice: To be committed to it by all means. You have to be committed to it.
Laura: What’s the one thing that you really wish Perryites understood about your business?
Alice: We’re not trying to rip anybody off.
Laura: Name one of your hidden interests that may surprise people?
Alice: How much I love to shop. My girls and I, we could shop, shop, shop for anything.
Laura: What school subject came easy to you?
Laura: Favorite thing to do on the playground as a kid?
Laura: Favorite place to bike?
Alice: Lanesboro, Minnesota.
Laura: Best movie of all time?
Alice: “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”
Laura: Favorite Perry comfort food?
Alice: Tin Pig’s chicken fried steak.
Laura: What’s the most impressive thing you can cook or bake?
Alice: (Alice paused a bit, and I thought to myself that she can cook and bake so many impressive things that I probably should have asked for a “Top 10.”) Chicken pot pie. There’s a lot of love in that pie. I bake the potatoes first. I use homemade broth in it. I bake a sheet of my own pastry, infuse it with herbs and bake it separately on a cookie sheet and cut it into diamond-shaped pieces and shingle it on top of the pie so it overlaps. It brought in $400 at the fireworks fundraiser.
Laura: What’s the most scenic landscape you’ve ever travelled through?
Alice: Some areas of Virginia. Just peacefulness. So serene.
Laura: Favorite song.
Alice: “Sailing” by Christopher Cross.
Laura: Motto/rule/saying to live by.
Alice: Everything happens for a reason. (Even heavy drapes, Alice?)
Laura: The top interior design things you’d really love for everyone to stop doing.
Alice: Putting a huge TV on top of the fireplace. Dust ruffles on beds. And heavy draperies are really out. I hope they never come back. They should only be found in a funeral home or a theatre. You don’t need 40 yards of fabric hanging on your wall.
Congratulations on your 25 years of success, Alice! I hope the disbelief is gone, I know the excitement and love of your work remains. To quote your favorite song, “Just a dream and the wind to carry me.” Thanks for all you do for Perry—the food and pastries (peach pie to name just one) you share with others and donate for auction, the committees upon which you’ve served, the decades of decorating St. Patrick Church, and more, along with helping to rid society of its dust ruffles.
Visit Alice’s Haus Dresin’ at 924 Otley Ave. in Perry Monday through Saturday.
Laura’s share: Best movie of all time? Too hard. I need to answer by genre or decade. Most anything with Kevin Costner or Clark Gable. The comedy movie I quote the most is the crazy, genius humor of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein,” with Iowa’s own Cloris Leachman.