graff mercantile

Long-time furnishing business Graff Mercantile is back after a hiatus

graff mercantile
Debbie Graff of Graff Mercantile poses behind the counter of her vintage items and furnishings business. Graff recently relaunched the store after years away due to landing an excellent new location.

Changes to a community can impact and even lead to the closure of successful commercial ventures. Debbie Graff has not let such hardship get her down. She just brought back her family’s family-named and owned furnishing business — Graf Mercantile — after years of it being inactive in the marketplace. 

Graff Mercantile now operates on West Grand Avenue in Schofield after opening back up in November. The business previously operated in downtown Wausau before construction on Thomas Street caused a loss of activity in the early 2010s.

At the time, Graff says resuming her earlier career in management of different businesses like restaurants and construction was the path ahead. But while out driving, luck or some divine intervention showed her what to do instead. 

“I never stopped repurposing furniture,” she says. “In the interim when we were not open people would tell me they missed the shop and we got that everywhere we went. So, one day when I was driving, I saw this space was up for rent. I had to decide then and there so I took it. After, I went home to my husband and said ‘Guess what honey, we are back.’ It was as easy as one day.”

After closing a deal for the spot, the duo obtained inventory over a month and are offering boutique clothing to add to what they have done before. The same vendors are joining them again, loyal customers are coming back and through it all Graff is being hit by emotional highs.

“There were literal tears in my eyes when we opened,” Graff adds. “We have so many loyal customers who have come in and are so welcoming, it is such a great feeling and we’re blessed.”

In the future the 1147 Ste. B W. Grand Ave. business with vintage finds and repurposed furniture plans to offer its outdoor markets in the summer once again, will continue developing curated looks for clients and will leave good impressions if Tina Wood-Berna is any sort of indication.

“This shop is a gem!,” the Wausau resident wrote in a January Facebook post. “The owner shines and knows how and what makes business win. Excellent variety of many of the top clothing and shoe brands with a mix of home décor and furniture – no words! It is a dream.” 

Graff Mercantile is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. On Sunday they are open from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. and more information can be found on their Facebook page. Evan J. Pretzer is a freelance contributor to City Pages. He can be reached at or [email protected].