Linda Schacht has an innate gift.
Upon stepping into a space, she can almost instantly envision its fullest potential.
“It’s just something I think I developed over time,” said the 42-year-old Chicago native. “I had a very creative father and I grew up watching him build. Watching that design process, it’s just in my blood. Within four walls, I can see more. They just talk to me.”
For the past couple of years, she has put that inherited and intuitive trait to good use through Eastman Cartwright Home, a quaint home decor boutique located just off the square in downtown Lancaster, Wis.
The shop features a little of everything: Furniture; throw pillows; vases, pottery and planters; lamps; paintings; locally made candles from Rosemary + Roots; mirrors; kitchen knick-knacks; and a plethora of other decorative take-and-go items all carefully curated and displayed.
It’s also an extension of Eastman Cartwright Lumber Co. in Lancaster, which supplies materials to homes. The business’ origins trace back to 1919, with Schacht’s husband, Will, now operating it as the fifth generation of his family to take ownership.
Prior to relocating to the City of the Dome and teaming up with the family business, Schacht was a colorist at a salon in downtown Chicago. She initially joined Eastman Cartwright Lumber Co., working on the accounting side of the business but quickly realized she might have more to offer elsewhere.
“I needed a creative outlet,” Schacht said.
What she envisioned was a separate element that complemented the other half of the business, offering not only a boutique that sold decorative items but also interior and event design services, home staging and more.
In late 2019, Schacht opened Eastman Cartwright Home out of Eastman Cartwright’s lumberyard.
With many remaining closer to home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the business had a strong first year. As people
re-envisioned their spaces, Eastman Cartwright Home was able to cast a wide net throughout the tri-states, offering its various services.
Its current storefront opened at 129 N. Madison St. in April 2021.
Measuring at approximately 500 square feet, Schacht and her team have made the most of the humble space, with its oversized windows allowing natural light to spill in, bright white walls, high ceilings and clean lines.
“I just had a good feeling about this space,” Schacht said of the location. “It has been a good place for us and a great addition to downtown Lancaster. The business has just blossomed, and I think the community really enjoys having something like this available to them.”
Upon setting foot in Eastman Cartwright Home, one can get a sense of today’s home trends — simple, clean and uncluttered.
Neutral tones provide a relaxed atmosphere, with hints of the natural world embellished throughout and accented “pop” pieces meticulously placed.
While it’s not necessarily a reflection of Schacht’s style in terms of what she is surrounded by in her home, it does merge her two favored design techniques, bridging the worlds of eclectic and modern.
“I like so many different styles,” she said. “But what I really want to do is help people buy what they need and what speaks to them in their own style and space.”
It’s that spark of creativity that gave Schacht a sense of home upon giving up life in the Windy City and putting down roots in a smaller community.
“When I first moved from Chicago to Lancaster, I think I lost a little of myself, changing from the big city to a small town,” she said. “But since then, I’ve become a little bit of a trailblazer. I might be a big city girl, but this little town is my style. I love connecting with the community. They, and my family, have been very supportive.”
Megan Gloss writes for the Telegraph Herald.