Owner, Fiedeke Vinyl Coverings
Residence: Goshen, Indiana
I like to work. It doesn’t matter what it is. It can be here. It can be digging in the garden. It can be making something for my grandchildren. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. My dad always preached, ‘Don’t ever go to bed unless you have done something that you can feel proud of. Life is too short, don’t waste your time.’ My mother used to say, ‘My daughter may wear out, but she will never rust out.’ So I’m constantly on the move.
Years ago, I had gone to an RV show with a friend of mine. She and her husband had a company that sewed van seats. They looked good, but they didn’t look finished. So I thought, I think I’m going to make improvements on this. So I did, and that’s what started my business. I bought this building and it scared me to death. I thought, ‘I can’t fail at this.’ I just kept working and working. In this industry, you have to be willing to adapt to change. There are some really innovative minds in this industry around here. I want it to continue to grow and I feel sure that it will.
I like to help people. I mentor young business people that are starting out. You give them the basics –– you don’t want to give them a whole lot of information, all at once, because it’s confusing –– then, you let them keep coming back to you if they want. Everybody needs a little help once in awhile. I like to see them start out and get a job. They might get started out in receiving, but the next thing you know, they’re in purchasing. Next thing you know, they’re purchasing managers. I love to see young people get started and do good.
Family is so important to me. I have two beautiful sons. I love my family, my sons, my grandchildren, and my daughters-in-law. Since I didn’t have any daughters, they are my daughters. I’m especially close to my brother who still lives in Goshen.
I think Goshen’s a great place to live. I’m really proud of our Elkhart County 4-H Fair. I love the downtown area. Just to drive around there. The parks are gorgeous. I’m very proud of how Goshen has been maintained. Everything is nice. People come here and say, ‘This is a beautiful little town. It’s so well-kept.’
Editor • Liz Shenk
Interview + Photography • Ashley Ganger
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