Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Store information

My business is located on Madison St in downtown Pontiac, IL. I am 100 miles south of Chicago.I have been in this location for almost 3 years. As you come in the door you will see the quaint space that has a barnwood roof type cover over the counter.The whole back wall is made of barnwood with old tin roof.I use antiques to display my products. I sell from many different companies. I sell alot of home decor and some gift items. Among the gift items I sell are jewelry, Maggi B handbags and alot of Ganz products along with the new hot item Webkinz. Webkinz clothes are now in but still waiting on charms and trading cards. Among the home decor items I sell are candles, different candle accessories, window treatments, table linens, framed prints, barn stars, lamps and shelves. The most popular items I sell are the Webkinz, Yankee candles, McCalls candles,Park Designs, barn stars are still popular and wood signs. Well thats all for now. I will come back tomorrow.Hopefully I can post pictures soon.

About my store

I am not sure how many years ago I took tole painting classes. That's when the "bug" started. I started taking classes at a local craft store. Found out that it was a stress reliever and something I love to do. Soon after I took these classes I found out the city was trying an incubation with the old firehouse.It's called Old City Hall Shoppes. They decided to take the old fire house and turn it into a craft and antique mall. I heard about it and thought it might be a good way to sell some things and make a little bit of money on the side. So everyone that was going to have a space in this building went in and helped remodel. We plastered walls, painted and did some major renovations. I am not kidding it was awesome. Some of the best and talented people in town went in and decorated. It was beautiful. Since this was an incubation people were suppose to go in and get started and then sometime down the road open there own stores. Well guess what? It worked. Several of the vendors opened there own stores. I was one of them. Although the first store I had wasn't Simply Country. It was called Kountry Kloset. It was located in downtown Morris. Juanita McDermott, Karen Mackinson and myself started this craft mall in with Juanitas medical supply store. It worked for awhile until we got tired of driving to Morris all the time. Well after that I started cleaning homes for people. It brought in a good amount of money but it really wasn't what I wanted to do. I had a dream of having my own craft store someday. After several jobs and few years later I decided to take an adventure and open a store. My husband and myself went searching for just a little building to get started. We looked in Morris, we looked in Streator and even contemplated opening one in the little town of Cornell.So we decided to take a drive one day over to Flanagan, IL. A small town just west of Pontiac. There it was. A small but quaint building that only needed some paint and a little fixing up on the outside. We called the landlord and struck up an agreement and that's where I started. Well only a few months later about a year,needless to say we ran out of room. There was no storage in this building and we were tracking stuff from home to the store.We had to decide wether we wanted to stick it out and find a bigger building or just call it quits. Seeing how this was my passion and what I loved to do,we looked for a bigger building. I had several customers from Pontiac and they encouraged me to go Pontiac way.So I did. We looked at several buildings and found one a block off the downtown square. We stayed in this building for 4 1/2 years. Then another building came open right on the square. Of course the overhead was going to be more but was assured the foot traffic would be so much better that it would definatley make up for the extra expenses. Of course being the sceptical person I am, I really didnt know if it was worth the hard work to move and headaches of doing it. Well it was probably the best move I could have made for my business. I doubled the square footage and traffic was so much better. Who would have thought just one block would have made a difference? The route 66 museum is directly behind my store which brings in alot of people from all over and the Old City Hall Shoppes (where I started) is behind me also.
Over the 7 years I have been in Pontiac, I have seen alot of businesses come and go.You could definately say that Pontiac's downtown hasn't been really booming with businessess in the past but now we have several new stores which is bringing more people to the downtown area.I have a wonderful coffee & sweet shop next to me. It's great for business but not so great on the figure if you know what I mean. We have a new floral shop, two new gift stores and a nice resale shop coming in the spring. In the future I hope to see many more and wish all the new businesses
great success.

About me

HI everyone. This is my very first blog. I want to just tell you a little bit about myself. I am 45 years old. I am a wife of 26 years to my wonderful husband Steve. I have three kids.Well not really kids anymore. I have a daughter that lives in Joshua Texas. Miss her more everyday.It doesnt get any easier. I have a son that works at a local truck repair and a son that is a junior in high school. I live in an old farmhouse that we have been remodeling. It's actually an old victorian but I do not like victorian too much so I decorate country.
Some of my favorite things to do are taking care of my family. I love trying new recipes. I love decorating.I also do tole painting of which I have no time right now to do.I also like to make floral arrangements. I also love to spend time with my family. I love having the whole family over for a dinner. I have several nieces and nephews that I love with all my heart. It's so much fun having them over and spending time with them. I will also be posting pics of them.
I will be posting pic's of my home remodel, post pic's of my country store,keep every one updated on happenings in the store and Pontiac area, letting every one know when and what new items I will be getting in. I will post pics of my customers.So look out you never know when I might ask to take your picture.Wouldnt you just love to be on the world wide web?I will post some recipes and tips and keep you updated on things happening in my life.