L-R: Soon to be new owner Jordan Bushey, sales/designer Suzie Silva, Moz, and Bill McQuiggan
On January 28, 1986, Bill McQuiggan drove with his wife, Maureen and two children, Michael and Mary Teresa to Vermont from the Boston area. Although still feeling the sting of the Patriots loss to the Chicago Bears in the Superbowl the previous day, they were filled with optimism and excitement. Nothing compares to the beauty of Vermont in winter and the drive on 89 North was spectacular.
The McQuiggans arrived at their new home in Montpelier and marveled at the four feet of plowed snow flanking the driveway. And then … about halfway up the hill it became clear that they would not be making it to the top. As a matter of fact, they started skidding down the hill backwards, somehow avoiding the numerous pine trees on either side of the driveway. “Snow tires? Really? Who knew?” And thus began a 35-year love affair with Vermont.
Bill began working at Rubel Home Decorating in Barre bringing with him 12 years of retail experience in the paint business. He soon became known for his uncanny ability to match colors and for his decorating abilities. From Alan Rubel and his father, Ben, he learned the art of doing business in Vermont – which for the first time included bartering! From Butch Ford, a fellow employee, he learned how to survive in Vermont. He schooled Bill on how to dry out your wood, how to rescue a truck from axel-deep mud, how to ensure your ungaraged car starts in 30 below zero weather by using embers from the wood stove. Plus how and when to use “eh” and “geezum crow” and what a door yard is.
With the knowledge he gained at Rubel’s, Bill was ready to open his own business, True Colors Home Decorating, and did so in 1988. His first location was behind the House of Tang on River Street in Montpelier. He was lucky enough to befriend the late Doug Kwasnik, a kind and wonderful man who owned the plumbing store across the street, and when Doug offered to sell Bill the building, he jumped at the chance.
Bill worked hand in hand with his good friend, Kath Natzke, and for more than 30 years they offered the community custom colored paint, wallpaper and flooring. He could not have done this without the faithful Kathy Thurston, his bookkeeper. During his years in business, Bill hired many young men and women, including his four children, and was a role model to them as they were to him. These young folks are now working as entrepreneurs, social workers, accountants, two physicians, musicians, and a deacon about to be ordained a Catholic priest.
Now Bill is ready to retire to Florida and is confident that his protégé, Jordan Bushey, can take True Colors Blinds and Designs to a new level. Jordan has nine years of experience working with Bill and along with Suzie Silva will continue to provide the high level of service and quality products that the central Vermont community is accustomed to. Professional installation is also available.
Bill knows he will miss all the people who he has met over the years like the above mentioned people. Then there is Attorney David Blythe, City Councilor Alan Weiss, State Legislator Bill Doyle, Tim Ayer and Karen Blosser for insurance, and Dick Agney, who gave Bill his first loan. The list goes on and on.
And who knows, you just might see him during the summer months!
One big change new owner Bushey has announced is the hours at True Colors are being expanded to be more accessible: Monday-Friday 9-5 and Saturday 9-2.
Plan on stopping soon at 141 River Street, Montpelier or call 802-223-1616 for more information, The store’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.