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Downtown Businesses

Office Supplies & Equipment: Your Neighborhood Store For All Your Office Needs

Office Supplies & Equipment is a family owned store in downtown Washington. Over the last 50 years they have developed a reputation for delivering competitive pricing, quality products and personal service. Would you like to know the complete story? Read on!

Office Supplies & Equipment is located at 217 Elm Street in Downtown Washington. They are a full line office supply, furniture, machine, & Shipping Center.

Office Supplies & Equipment has been on Elm Street from the very beginning. It was started in 1954 by Harold and Jo Finke at 216 Elm Street (current home of Designer Threads). Few years later it was moved to the corner of Main and Elm Street (current home of Encore). Harold & Jo built their business on integrity and credibility with their customers, through providing them with quality products and personal service.

Wanda Bade (to the left), the current owner of the store, started at OSE in 1974. In the beginning of her career, she was stocking shelves and waiting on customers. Later she started doing book work, and then as eye problems made working hard for Jo, she began doing the supply ordering. From Harold and Jo she learned that the customer always comes first.

Wanda also learned to always watch the bottom line. Harold was an accountant by trade and the bottom line was his “baby”. They treated everyone like family and Wanda tries to follow that with her employees. She said that she knows what it is like to have a sick child and feel torn with working or taking off to care for them. Being considerate is above all.

In 1987 Jo and Harold retired and sold the store to Judy Wessel. With her enthusiasm OSE went in a whole new direction of sorts. In 1991 the store was moved to its present location, which more than doubled its size.

OSE took on the Hazel Factory Outlet Store and had a lot more space to display supplies, furniture and machines. When Judy had the chance to do some consulting work in Texas, she allowed Wanda the opportunity to manage the store and have a say in expanding it.

This experience later was instrumental in Wanda eventually becoming an owner. From Judy she learned tenacity, pride in a job well done, and courage to take chances.

When Judy became seriously ill, she approached Sandra Jung and Wanda about purchasing the store as partners. In 1993 the two ladies became co-owners. It was Judy’s trust in them that they’d take good care of the store; that made for a good partnership.

From Sandra, Wanda learned that working with someone on a daily basis made for give and take. They would look at a situation from every angle and then take another look before they’d both come to the same conclusion. In 2001, when Sandra decided to retire to take care of her grandchild, Wanda became the sole owner of Office Supplies & Equipment.

With that purchase the store has come full circle back to a family owned business. Wanda's husband Kent is their delivery man; their oldest daughter Sandra works as manager of the storefront, and Bonnie, Kim and Jim are all related by marriage. Wanda says that her business is only as good as the people who work for her. She know that they are the reason that Office Supplies & Equipment is as successful as it is. The dedication of her employees makes her job a lot easier. And that's how it should be.

Office Supplies & Equipment is located at 217 Elm Street in Downtown Washington. You can reach them at 636.239.6425 or 636.239.8974. E-mail Wanda at wbade54@hotmail.com or visit their website here. The store hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm. Like them on Facebook to stay informed on current promotions and events. Did I mention that they deliver, too? 😉

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.

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