Kids who want to make their own stuffed animal will be able to do that at Valley View Mall well before Christmas.

That’s because a Build-A-Bear Workshop store is slated to open during the first week of November in the former Uniforms Direct storefront, next to Gymboree in the mall.

Uniforms Direct has relocated to the former Select Comfort space in the mall. Select Comfort closed at the end of September.

“We are excited for Build-A-Bear Workshop to bring its interactive workshop to Valley View Mall,” said Jeff Odom, the mall’s general manager. He added the new store will provide children of all ages a fun family experience.

Founded in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is based in St. Louis and has more than 400 stores worldwide. It says it’s the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience.

Customers are invited to choose, stuff, stitch, fluff and dress their own teddy bear and other stuffed animals. For more information, visit

Three years after they bought the business, Dan Geroux and his wife, Tanya Dochkina, will have a grand opening the week of Oct. 21 at Sun Room Tanning at 945 Oak Ave. S. in Onalaska. There will be drawings and give-away items.

Geroux said he and his wife decided to postpone the grand opening until the tanning salon had been remodeled and its equipment replaced. The business has five tanning beds and one stand-up tanning booth.

Sun Room Tanning also sells tanning and body lotions, as well as a teeth whitening system. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The business is on Facebook and soon will have a website.

Thrifty Pickin’s & Tanning opened Sept. 13 in its new storefront at 111 Fairbanks St. in Coon Valley.

The business is owned by Tiffany Rundhaugen of Coon Valley, who started it a year ago at her home but decided to move because “it outgrew my house.”

The new location is next to the Chances Are floral shop and River Road Recovery.

Rundhaugen said her store sells rustic homemade crafts and signs, hand-painted wine glasses and beer steins, repurposed furniture, recycled items and items made by six crafters.

“I do a lot of repurposed furniture,” Rundhaugen said. “I can take something and turn it into something fun.”

The store’s craft items include handmade wool rugs and a wide variety of home décor.

Rundhaugen said she’ll soon have a tanning bed and will offer tanning.

Thrifty Pickin’s is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Its telephone number is 608-792-5484, and the business is on Facebook.

Owners Michael and Christina Howe have moved MCS Networks Inc. to Suite B at 306 N. Holmen Drive in Holmen.

The business moved effective Aug. 15 from its original location in the Holmen Square shopping center. The Howes started MCS in 2000.

“The new location is approximately two times our previous space, and we added a full kitchen and game room/break room, increased our diagnostic lab by 2.5 times and added additional office space everywhere,” Michael said.

MCS provides managed information technology services for small businesses and government entities in the tri-state area but also services places as far away as California and Idaho.

“We also maintain our residential service department, which we started our company on,” Michael said.

Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but support for managed-services customers is available at all times.

The firm’s website is, and it also is on Facebook.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at or at 608-782-9710, ext. 8819.

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