Check out these unusual and inventive stores around our area.
The Cypress House
718 10th Ave., Rochelle, Ill., (815) 562-4159, cypresshouse.net
Krista Stewart and Elke Drendel opened The Cypress House in 2007, taking over a Rochelle flower business 90 years in the making.
Once called Heltness Greenhouse & Price’s Flowers, Stewart and Drendel have expanded this neighborhood favorite beyond just plants. Today, the shop includes full-service florist and greenhouse selections along with home décor, clothing, handbag and jewelry items. Visitors can take a break at the espresso bar and enjoy organic coffee, tea and baked goods, or get a new look at the attached hair salon, Salon Cypress.
“The Cypress House is a one-of-a-kind destination shop,” says Stewart. “We want to provide our community with a local place to relax, sip a latte and explore.”
During the summer, The Cypress House hosts outdoor street markets with 30 vendors on the last Saturday of every month. This year’s will expand to include a smaller “Market on the Lawn” every Saturday June to August. Each event hosts a variety of local vendors, selling items that range from organic produce to handcrafted art and jewelry.
“We’ve sought out a variety of local farmers and vendors that our community has grown to crave,” says Stewart.
Hours: Mon. & Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues.-Thu. -6 p.m., Sat. -4 p.m.
The Glass Garden
25 W. Milwaukee St., Janesville, Wis., (608) 754-3718, eglassgarden.com
Judy Shumway wanted to support her love for stained glass by selling her own creations, and quickly found she could spread that love by teaching others how to do the same.
“I wanted to be able to recoup some of the cost of making panels by selling them,” says Shumway. “But after opening The Glass Garden in 1998, I started teaching classes. Since then, I have gradually added more classes and now teach several times a week.”
She and husband Dale own and run the now 3,600-square-foot studio. Artists can stock up on materials and tools, including more than 1,000 kinds of glass, in between beginner, intermediate and advanced glass art classes. On display is a large variety of finished glass pieces, from panels to jewelry. Custom designs, either in stained glass, etching or carving, are also available upon request. “There isn’t a store like ours in the area,” says Shumway. “When I opened, there were five or six stained glass shops within a 40-mile radius. Now, there are only two, but they are more than 40 miles away.”
Hours: Tues., Thu. & Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wed. -8 p.m., Sat. -3 p.m.
1335 Business 20 East, Freeport, Ill., (815) 713-7883, phkbicycles.bike
In 2005, Peter Kanzler knew he wanted to create something big from his passion for bicycles.
“I took some vacation time from my job to attend the United Bicycle Institute Professional Repair and Shop Operation class, and I decided I wanted a bike shop where you can get quality bike repair and have a frame built under the same roof,” says Kanzler. “So when I returned home, I signed up for the Rock Valley Community College welding program and then went out to Cleveland, Ohio, to get my welding certificate through Lincoln Electric. I rolled the dice and opened PHK Bicycles on May 1, 2014.”
The shop carries a full line of Masi, Cinelli and Haro bicycles, along with high-quality skateboards, safety gear, accessories, parts and tools. PHK Bicycles can take care of any repairs or build custom frames.
Kanzler also aims to get residents riding through community events. The shop brings together a 17-member BMX race team in Freeport and is set to host weekly group rides this year. On Sept. 24, it will also host the first Tour de Freeport for a family-oriented fun ride.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Rustic Realm
N4522 Co Hwy F, Elkhorn, Wis., (262) 728-8241, therusticrealm.com
Lodge décor can bring an appreciation for the outdoors into any home, and Larry and Patti Twist display the look at The Rustic Realm. What started as a few items in a small room of Larry Twist Machinery in 2003 has since grown into a diverse selection of rustic furniture inside a 3,000 square-foot showroom.
“Log furniture is just the beginning,” says Patti. “We offer rustic elegance in everything from upholstered items and accessories to wood and wildlife-themed fabrics. About 90 percent of our items are made in the U.S., and several of our manufacturers are actually from Wisconsin.”
Each item is guaranteed to be beautifully unique, as every tree or antler used carries its own fingerprint into the final product. Larry and Patti work with you to create a rustic design suitable for a variety of homes, not just cabins. Their products and custom pieces have been sold across the country and featured on the Outdoor Channel’s “Driven with Pat & Nicole.”
“We love all things outdoors, so it was a natural transition to bring that love to others in the form of lodge décor,” says Patti.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.