The "Original" Husar's Tic-Tok Shop
An "idea whose time had come", the youthful and optimistic Lyle and Alice Husar opened "Husar's Tic-Tok Shop" in 1968, on an investment of $5000. A visit from the then-governor of Wisconsin, Warren Knowles, attracted attention to their Grand Opening event. Interestingly, when the young couple hired their first two employees two years later, they were so much older than Lyle and Alice; people thought the Husars were their children.
Today, the situation has come full circle, two of their children and one granddaughter are intimately involved in the business. Their oldest son Craig now owns the business. He serves as the Chief Romance Officer of Lyle Husar Designs. His younger sister, Christine has taken up Alice's mantle as Chief Financial Officer. Both Craig and Christine have been around the business since they were very young. Alice used to bring the toddlers to the store with her whenever there was extra work to be done on her part, which was quite often.
Married in 1967, Lyle and Alice spent their honeymoon going to job interviews. Lyle had just graduated from Gem City College and passed the Wisconsin Watchmaking Board. Alice was working at a bank in her hometown of Pulaski, Wisconsin. Lyle soon landed a position in Milwaukee as a watchmaker with Bunde & Upmeyer Watch Shop. Remarkably ambitious, after only a year's time, Lyle convinced Alice they should open Husar's Tic-Tok Shop.
Thanks to Alices' remarkable thrift, they had saved a nest egg of $5000 to invest in inventory for the store. In keeping with the Swiss watchmaking tradition, Lyle decided to dress in traditional lederhosen attire. He committed to wearing them year round, not easy, due to the harsh winter climate of Wisconsin. The Husar's original plan was to focus on the sales and repair of watches. However, they also decided to add a few clocks. When the clock sales took off, so did their investment in them. Before long, the walls of Husar's Tic-Tok Shop were lined with an extensive array of clocks.
At only 400 square feet, they soon realized they needed a larger store. Lyle became the first tenant at Stonewood Village, a New England styled shopping center, about a mile away from their original location. The storefront resembled a little red schoolhouse and Lyle enjoyed inviting customers to "get an education" in fine watches and clocks. By 1976, Husar had trained himself in the art of jewelry making and served as president of the Stonewood Shopkeepers Association.
In 1989, the Husar's expanded again and chose to relocate to the busy Bluemound Road shopping corridor. The name evolved into Lyle Husar Designs. Christine's passion shifted the companies focus to custom jewelry. That trend continued when Craig rejoined the family business in 1998 and began introducing major international watch and jewelry brands to the mix. In 2013, Craig's daughter Becca joined the business as a custom jewelry designer. The current store has expanded three times since, to its current 5000 square foot operation and is about to undergo it's biggest transformation yet.