Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Soulful Sparrow Shop coming to Elgin

Elgin store front (10 Douglas Ave. Elgin IL 60120)

The time has come...

Dreams really do come true.  Not that it has unfolded exactly as I had imagined, but then again ... when does that ever happen?  There is always a reason and a time for every purpose... {or RE-purpose}.  

Judy and I decided to merge our co-op business arrangement of La Maison Marché & Tapestries of Nature, formerly in St. Charles, into one boutique to be known as Soulful Sparrow.

Douglas Ave. street view
Elgin Illinois has been working diligently on a path to improve its image as a river front "City in the Suburbs."  The streetscaping was a long and painful process, but worth waiting for. There is an artist community that has made great strides in breathing new life into this community.  

Glos House window in St. Charles
I have dreamt of having an artistic and creative store in my hometown ever since I could imagine. My journey in store ownership ultimately started in the Fall of 2010, when I walked into the Glos House in the historic downtown business district known as Century Corners in St. Charles.  It was there I met artist Judith Walsberg, whose altered creations of such whimsical interpretation will make your jaw drop.   She has been doing her thing in the area since 1984 and has owned her own business as Tapestries of Nature in the Glos House since January 2007.

We just clicked...

We ventured off together with a store concept in the Glos House where we could run our own businesses: Judy, as owner of Tapestries of Nature and me operating as La Maison Marché.  We would share the rent and the shopkeeping duties in the charming venue of a historic house -- located amongst other quaint shops that are one of the areas best kept secrets... The secret of that area really must be let out, because it really is an amazing place!

Things developed...

Altered books for decor
We made ends meet in a struggling economy.  Our customers appreciated our retail concept of handmade and altered vintage style, which made our shop unique, mixed with cards and gifts.
Altered vintage suitcase

We both appreciate old things from times gone by, and we bonded over displaying the shop to showcase these things in a unique and artistic way to revitalize their appeal.

Along came the Soulful Sparrow House...

Our curiosity was piqued when Judy got wind of older homes in Elgin being walked away from in the collapsing housing market. She won the auction on a happy old house that needed some TLC in the North East Neighborhood of Elgin... We could see it had potential and we were both excited to go to work caring for this house and fixing up things that seemed to have such little value in recent years.

The house was to become a rehab project, where we could work out some practical creative concepts to "make do", but showcase it's character.  And so, we dubbed the project / studio house the Soulful Sparrow - a biblical reference that goes to how God cares for the smallest of creatures of the least value.

The Sparrow house, as we refer to it now, will continue to be our place in Elgin to create and to entertain in conjunction with the shop.

distressed bedroom wall {Anthropologie} style 

Bear with me...

So, as I am usually a woman of few words, here is where I apologize for my long-winded explanation for how things have come to pass.  

We decided after bonding over the Sparrow House and introducing it to our Elginite friends and neighbours, that Elgin was where our hearts were.

... and so the time has come

we decided to go into partnership with the business and relocate to Downtown Elgin. 

Vintage while dishes in the Elgin display window
Garden themed hand lotions for hard working hands

Handmade altered vintage jewelry

Soulful Sparrow


{AIRR}... in which we must all breathe to survive.

as we blog the soulful sparrow shop, you'll hear from both of us, {Judy and Mary} to inspire and refresh your imagination with the AIRR we breathe...   Boasting our hometown and introduce the friends & places that inspire us.

Come in to our shop in at 17 N. 2nd Avenue St. Charles, before we close it May 31.

Become one of our followers...

Keep up with the latest as we prepare to move from St. Charles through Memorial Day and {RE}-OPEN at 10 Douglas Street in July 2012.

...and be sure to stop by to see what's new once we {RE}-open in Elgin July 2012.



  1. Mary, That's a beautiful post. I could not have done better nor could I have done all that we have done in the past 2 years without you. I feel so blessed. I look forward to this new chapter in our lives.

    Your partner, Judy

  2. I wish you guys all the best with your merger. You are both very creative souls. I shall follow.

  3. Mary,
    I am your newest follower here.I am so happy for you and Judy.I knew Judy years ago.We were at century corners together.I was at the old stone shop.Before I had my daughter.Judy is very talented.I am so excited to see your new shop.I hope I can visit your shop in St. Charles before it closes it's doors.I am quite a distance.Elgin will be closer.I look forward to hearing about your newest journey.

  4. Wishing you all the best on your new adventure!! Janice

  5. Can't wait to see the new shop! I know it will be great with you both at the realm. Jaye

  6. Can't wait to see the shop in Elgin!

  7. Can't wait to see the new space! let me know if I can help in any way!

  8. I am so excited to see the new shop! I dont know if I can wait until July though! its going to be a huge success. I am have always been inspired when coming into your shop and look forward to that felling again in July. Have a great trip!