Mickey Judkins: Details Direct
WRITTEN BY Jessica Wicklund
Mickey Judkins owner of Details Direct, a contemporary collection of apparel and jewelry.
How long has Details Direct been established?
"I opened my first business on the same day I registered for my junior year of college. It was a great time to have my own business, as college students can live well on a small amount of money. After running that business for 10 years, I sold it and opened Details 30 years ago. In 1995, I opened one of the first ecommerce sites in Wisconsin with the launch of detailsdirect.com."
Why did you choose Eau Claire to build a business?
"I was attending the University of Arizona in Tucson when my father had a heart attack so I decided to return to my hometown and spend more time with my family. This was a decision I have never regretted as both of my parents died when I was 30."
What is special about Eau Claire's vibe?
"As today, the late 70s-early 80s had an exciting vibe with many young people starting new businesses on a shoestring. Now after decades, many of these same businesses are still serving the Eau Claire community and, in our case, we have been honored to have three generations of customers from some families. It takes a lot of people taking risks, doing things that have never been tried and making investments in the community to make a community grow. For example, Charlie Grossklaus convinced the RCU board to locate in a blighted area of Eau Claire and breathed new life into what is now the popular Phoenix Park. (That is a perfect name for the area as it was in decay and has, in a way, been resurrected from the ashes.) It’s this type of foresight and investment that keeps a community growing. And now a whole new group of professionals are opening innovative businesses and infusing the community with creativity... It's very exciting."