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Longtime Sandy DeCor owner to retire

Family to take over running one of city's oldest businesses


The owner of one of the oldest businesses in downtown Sandy is ending her shift. Sandy DeCor’s longtime owner is retiring.

Jan Fox McDermed, 70, started Sandy DeCor 43 years ago.

Born and raised in Sandy, Fox McDermed said she decided to start the business when she and her late husband, who died in 2000, saw a need in Sandy.

At the time, the couple had just bought a house and were working on painting and wallpapering. With the lack of an available décor shop in Sandy, Fox McDermed said they were making trips to Gresham.

“My husband said, ‘You’re always running to Gresham, why don’t we open up a shop?’” Fox McDermed said.

When it began, Sandy DeCor started by offering paint and wallpaper. Six months later, it offered carpet as well.

While Sandy DeCor doesn’t offer paint or wallpaper anymore, it now also offers flooring, countertops, tile and window coverings.

Although she didn’t have a lot of experience in sales or home décor, Fox McDermed said back then, you didn’t really have to be experienced to begin a business.

It wasn’t much, but she did spend some time in retail. The product, however, was much different. Fox McDermed said that in sixth grade, she ran a berry stand. After her brother returned from his time in the military, he took over the stand. It eventually became Janz Berryland.

Fox McDermed began her business in a 500-square-foot building on Highway 26 across from Sandy Lumber Yard. Since then, Sandy DeCor has moved twice and is now located in a nearly 9,000-square-foot facility at 39180 Proctor Blvd..

The business employs three individuals and serves people looking to renovate houses in Estacada, Gresham, Hoodland and even as far as Portland.

Always looking out for her employees, Fox McDermed has kept her business afloat through many changes in Sandy, including a drop in the economy.

“Even when the economy was bad, she didn’t want to close down,” said Lauri Dunn, Fox McDermed’s daughter. “It would have been hard for everybody.”

Fox McDermed’s official last day at the store was Monday, June 30. Dunn and her husband Jon are taking over the store from its founder.

Dunn said that there will not be many changes at the store, mostly they will work to continue what Fox McDermed started and continue to serve customers as well as she has.

One of the things that Fox McDermed has always worked to provide for her customers is a smile. She said that her dad used to say, “Smile a while. When you smile, another smiles. Soon, you’ve got miles and miles of smiles.”

She hopes that if she can’t help every customer, at least they can leave with a smile.

“That’s how we’ve survived,” she said. “We take care of our clients.”

Although she is finally ready to retire, Fox McDermed said she will miss her employees and the many nice people she has met while owning the store.

“I will miss them,” she said. “I owe my success to my employees, installers and the many many business friends I have made.”

She also said that she would not be where she was without the support of local communities.