Disney Inspired – Main Street


Have you ever had a construction project that seemed to take on a life of it’s own? You know, the small easy little project that blossoms into a major overhaul and all of a sudden there is no turning back.

After attending a Disney Institute workshop, one of my “take aways” was that it would be a good idea to separate our reception area from our production area. A place to greet our customers that was clean, quiet and inviting.  Before I take you on a tour,  I want to give you just a little background about our business.  We are a small bulk mail business in Valparaiso Indiana. Although we had a very nice place, our space was limited and so was our budget.

The goal was to build one wall with two windows.  How hard could that be?

one wall - two windows - done

Well, that was easy!  One wall, two windows, project done.

Not so fast…the window awnings gave it an unexpected outdoor feel, so now wouldn’t a lamppost be perfect to complete the whole outdoor thing?  Oh, now wouldn’t a park bench be cute too.  And so the saga begins…..

A lamppost and park bench - done!

Next came the 1890’s post office complete with the ink well and fountain pens.  How fitting , a post office inside a bulk mail business!

First - the 1890's post office

With the help of my very talented daughter and carpenter extraordinaire, Erica George… Flanagin’s  Main Street USA was born.

Erica George - carpenter extraordinaire

Then came the Swedish Bakery.

The Swedish Bakery

Then the Barber Shop

The Barber Shop.

Next the Seamstress Shop.

The General Store

The Confectionery

The Railway Station

and the Cinema.

Bye 😉 Come back soon.

From the bakery smells and ragtime music to the cinema lights and hidden bird’s nest, we have had so much fun thinking and creating  “outside the (bulk mail) box.”

Thanks for visiting and have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I am learning more about life every day. What an awesome journey.


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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. (jaw dropping) WOW!

    • Thanks Jeff. We love it and hope our visitors do too.

  2. It’s fun to see the transformation through the pics 🙂

  3. Ha! How fun is that?!? 🙂
    Awesome to be able to do that with your own business!

    • Craig, I know. It is so fun. One of the bonuses of owning your own business and having a very talented daughter. Disney Institute will be in Valpo Tuesday, so excited. 250+ people have signed up already. Room only holds 272! Chamber is smiling.

      • Holy Wow!
        I’m sure it was awesome!

      • we love it, and I don’t think we will ever quit adding new detail.

  4. Do you decorate for Halloween and Christmas? Amazing!

    • Well, this will be our first year of Main Street for those holidays. Since we are not quite finished yet, Halloween is probably out, but we will do something for Christmas for sure. You did spark some inspiration, thanks. I am going to start thinking about how we can holiday decorate in a unique way.

  5. […] passionately applies Disney best practices better than anyone I […]

    • Jeff, thank you so much for the birthday wishes. Wow, your comment is beyond humbling coming from a Disney expert. Thank you! Just trying to have fun and using the best blue print ever. Thanks to DI for sharing that blue print. Please go outside for me today and savor that FLorida weather, wish I was there.

  6. Hi, Donna. I’m a seasonal Walt Disney World cast member based in Indianapolis and I just happened to chance upon your blog. I am impressed with your business principles as well as with this endeavor. The attention to detail (both on craft and thought) is amazing! As far as I know, this is the most “magical” reception area I’ve seen! Kudos!

    • Chino, Thank you so much and I am delighted you found us. If you are ever in Valparaiso, please stop by and I’ll give you the main street tour and clue you in on the 30 hidden business items. Seasonal WDW cast member is my dream!! Tell me more.

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