Friday, August 2, 2013

Brick and mortar...

I absolutely love my new sign. Now it's real.
I've did it...I opened a store. A real brick and mortar store. After years of hearing people say, "you should have a place!" - I finally have one. Thanks to my friend Judy for telling me to do it NOW and to my partner and husband, Mike for telling me do it NOW. And thanks to Jeriann who offered me a home in her lovely building. It was move in ready to a 1930's beauty - tin ceilings, murals by Ottawa's own Lauri Ragan, crystal chandeliers...gasp, please pinch me because I think I'm dreaming!

Now don't get me wrong - space is important. But Jeriann offered something more. This lovely lady offered a friendship and her creative zest and vision. Putting her and I together in the same room is quite dangerous. You can almost feel the electricity bouncing off of us -  ideas galore...focus girls, FOCUS. She is quite amazing and we all need to surround ourselves with others who can make us feel great and believe in our dreams.
Love my black bird in a tree dresser. The ballerina is part of a set of vintage wall art found at an estate sale in Chicago.
Lots of pretties that are old and new. Sweet line of vintage inspired clothing is a new addition to the store. Always on the lookout for the unusual and hard to find.
What started as a little idea has grown to not only myself finding a home, but to over 30 emerging artists, crafts women and eclectic retailers merging into the AVANT GARDEN Market. Our fearless leader, Jeriann has been an inspiration to us. Her retail experience is awesome and she does everything she can to help with our success from lending out displays, offering merchandising advice and keeping this ship running in tip top shape! I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be in the company of so many women who help, guide and mentor each other. We are a powerful lot....
Big smiles. I did it!
Please stop by and see all the wonderful things that I have at "a mess of things".  From handmade items, art, and jewelry to home decor, clothing, hand painted furniture, antiques and collectables. Whew! Have I mentioned I do wedding and party staging? A lovely mess of things. Enjoy the photos and follow my adventures here or on this blog.

And our vendors, well what can I say. They offer some incredibly unique treasures...Someday Violet, Petal Pushers, Wine Diva, Monday's Child, Julie Jane, Janine Irene Jewelry, Fair Trade,  Full Moon, Ausseum Gifts, Alissa Duffy Designs and Lonesome Road Studio, just to name a few.
So many ideas to make your wedding perfect.  
LOVE, love love my space. Stop by, say Hi.
We not only stage for weddings but also for showers and parties.  You can rent just about anything from us and what we don't have we can find!

My new home is located in a beautiful historical building at 800 LaSalle Street in downtown Ottawa, Illinois...the Avant Garden building. We boast a fabulous indoor market and home to an eclectic group of creative business women. (and a few men of course) One customer commented if Etsy had a real store, this would be it. Unique finds by local small business women. You can visit all of us here. Please friend us and follow our adventures!


  1. So thrilled to be part of the Avant Garden-Market, it's a GREAT place!

  2. Well said Francie. I could not have said it better myself! It is a wonderous place to shop and truly inspiring.

  3. Francie!!!! This is so amazing!! Congratulations! You are so incredibly talented, I'm sure this is just the beginning of many, many blessings to come;}