When Sandee Madigan, longtime owner of Hudson’s Dilly Dally in the Alley, decided to retire last year, Jenny Gunsallus saw an opportunity. “I always knew I wanted to own my own business,” says Gunsallus, who took over the eclectic gift store in January. “I saw Dilly Dally as a place where I could use all of my career and life experience.”
Born and raised in Hudson, Gunsallus moved to San Francisco after high school to study photography, working as a corporate trainer and at a photography studio before returning to Hudson in 2000.
After stints in graphic design and retail management, Gunsallus went back to school at age 36 to study videography and marketing while working part-time as Dilly Dally’s marketing manager.
Since taking the helm, Gunsallus, who co-owns the store with her boyfriend Christopher Jensen, has been at Dilly Dally seven days a week, seeking local designers to showcase and working with other small businesses to promote downtown Hudson.
“I love going to work every day,” Gunsallus says. “I get to help people find gifts that are inspiring or that make them laugh, and I’m a part of a very supportive community that believes in working together.”
In addition to partnering with Hudson-based artists, Gunsallus hopes to create original products, like T-shirts promoting Hudson and Wisconsin, and have them made locally and sold at Dilly Dally.
“I’m very fortunate to live in Hudson,” she says. “I love what I do, but I’m not Dilly Dally without the people around me.”
Dilly Dally in the Alley
Hours: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun.