DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – It can take seconds to destroy a building but months for a business owner to recover from it. That is exactly what Ashley Prange, owner and founder of Au Naturale, is going through right now.
“We lost everything from our machinery to our finished products to our pigments to our desks, to our offices to our pens, so basically everything you would need for your day-to-day operations,” she said. “It was literally everything we used and collected for over 10 years.”
Prange’s cosmetic business uses natural and organic formulas that she has developed over the years, and it all was destroyed when the Main Street Commons collapsed following a reckless driving crash. Items that were not destroyed in the collapse were destroyed in demolition, the only thing Prange could salvage was a box of packaging supplies.
“It’s hard to quantify exactly what that looks like monetarily because it’s everything,” Prange said, estimating the products lost to be worth millions of dollars.
The exact number is still uncertain because insurance claims have not been finalized as the crash continues to be investigated.
“We are burnt out and exhausted,” she said. “We’re overwhelmed with just how to divide and conquer, but we’re managing it by just taking it piece by piece.”
This week Prange and her team began moving into their new location in De Pere, at the corner of George St. and Wisconsin St. Prange expects that her company will be ready to fulfill all types of orders in about three weeks.
“I’m excited for what the future holds, I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I have a feeling it’s bright,” she said. “I’m feeling emotionally void. That will only get better now that we have a home.”