Country at Heart Quilt and Gift Shop
1910 E. 4th St. • Sterling, Ill. • (815) 625-7484 • countryatheartquiltsandgifts.com
Heart is definitely the driving force behind this quilt and gift shop, opened nearly nine years ago by Jan Sierens. “After our seven children were gone, my husband, Dale, asked me, ‘So, what would you like to do for you?’” says Sierens. “I had always wanted to open my own gift shop, so that’s what we did.”
Sierens, an ardent quilter, built her business with gift items for the first four-and-a-half years, before bringing quilts into the mix. “I knew I’d get quicker returns on gifts, as opposed to a bolt of fabric that might stay in the store for up to year,” she says. But I always planned on incorporating the quilt shop, because quilting is my passion. My main goal is to provide unique, homey, affordable items.”
Besides fabric, patterns and sewing supplies, she sells rustic, country-themed gifts, like McCalls Candles, Rowe Pottery, Lang calendars and Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. There are quilted purses, plush animals, greeting cards and home decor. A selection of handmade birdhouses comes from a local artisan.
Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
750 Beloit Road • Belvidere, Ill. • (815) 544-3003
This fun shop was opened by husband-and-wife team Rich and Terri Sherman just three years ago. They both wanted to be their own boss, and Terri had managed a Hallmark store for years.
“I love being around people and helping them one-on-one,” says Terri. “I wanted a place that would be different, fun, creative and eclectic.”
She’s accomplished her goal, filling the intimate space with a wide array of merchandise. From Baby to Grandma, Terri’s has something for everyone. Shoppers can find home and garden décor; spa and bath products, like Thymes lotion and Esprit; stuffed animals like Webkinz; figurines and plaques from Isabel Bloom and others.
There are handbags from popular designers like Vera Bradley and Marc Chantal; jewelry from Julie Chen; baby items from Robeez; art by Lisa Frost; blouses and scarves; and much more.
If you’re looking for something special, just ask, and Terri will do her best to track it down. Because she knows her customers’ tastes, she often orders a certain item on buying trips simply because she knows of someone who will like it. “Because we’re small, we can give personal, one-on-one attention,” she says. “Our customers truly become our friends.”
Hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Cornerstone Store
103 Beloit St. • Walworth, Wis. • (262) 275-3900 • cornerstonegiftswisconsin.com
Owner Sherrie Ludwig sees herself as a problem-solver rather than a retailer. “My goal isn’t to sell you something, but to sell you the right thing,” she says.
Ludwig opened her business nearly six years ago on the square. “I saw a need here in the town, and thought I could provide a different take on gifts,” she says. She moved next to On the Square Antiques about 18 months ago.
She carries the popular line of Copper Horse sterling silver and semi-precious jewelry; and “KidSpace” is well-stocked with children’s books, creative toys and in-demand brands like Webkinz. The “Cook’s Corner” has a selection of cookbooks, gourmet gifts and kitchen gadgets. There’s furniture from four local designers; wall hangings; benches; tables; lamps; Beanpod Candles; dishware; figurines.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
1441 Plainfield Ave. • Janesville, Wis. • (608) 758-2100 • kryptonitekollectibles.net
If it’s collectible, it’s here. Explains owner Gil Lyne, “I collected everything as a kid – beer cans, comic books, trading cards, stamps. I’m still doing it, but now, most of my collection is here in the store.”
When he opened back in 1993, Lyne intended to focus on comic books. But, he says, “I realized I’d discovered a niche market and diversified.”
It’s everything pop culture. Specialty wall clocks, like a replica of the scoreboard at Lambeau Field. Books and cheat guides on all video game. Sports, Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards. Bobbleheads of Dorothy and the Tin Man. Resin TV and movie characters. A posable figure of the FOX sports football robot. Pez dispensers of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A Mr. Potato Head set of the rock band KISS.
Branded apparel; nightlights; watches; mugs. Harleys. The Rat Pack.
Hours: Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. to 9 p.m., Sat. to 6 p.m., Sun., noon-5 p.m. Or collectors can shop 24/7 at Kryptonite’s online store.