By Beth Altena “I’m excited to be back,” said Tracy McKay, the former and now again current owner of Pinstripes and Polka Dots. McKay was a fixture in Rockford with her cheerfully-named shop which was open for business in another location in downtown Rockford from 2004 to 2008. She is now re-opened in the space vacated by Gumballs & Overalls,which closed its doors in May of this year. The business is a consignment shop which also carries an assortment of furnishings, room décor and some home-made items. It caters to customers buying for infants/newborns through young adult as well as maternity clothes. “Customers can bring in their children’s clothes and they get a profit,” McKay said. She noted that consigners have the option of 40 percent of the sale of the clothes, or can choose an in-store credit for 50-percent of the sale price. The contract for sale is a 90 day timeframe. Customers can have McKay price their items while they wait or drop off consignment and come back later. The hand-made items include fun capes ranging from Michigan or Michigan State, superman, the classic Rockford R on an orange cape and a variety of other super hero selections. Pinstripes is also a vendor for hand-made doll clothes that fit the American Girl dolls, jewelry, newborn knitted and crocheted hats, frames and prints for kids rooms and lots of décor featuring owls, which are very popular. McKay said the first four years of Pinstripes was “a good run” but the decision to close doors came as personal lives were busy with her sister starting her family and needing more time for that. “Now my kids are older and it’s the right time to be back,” McKay said. Consignment and resale stores have become very popular as American consumers are more interested in shopping locally and making better use of goods. Kids clothing are a perfect example of a second use for a product, since kids grow so quickly. Anyone with children will likely remember the frustration of purchasing clothing or back to school outfits only to see their child rapidly outgrown the size. Consignment is also popular because inventory changes constantly, so high-quality, brand name items are always coming in and selling for a […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL With air quality monitors surrounding the property and an onsite representative from The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) present, Pitsch Companies, last Thursday, began demolition of the old manufacturing facility of Burch Body Works. Located in the heart of Rockford, on the southeast corner of Monroe St. and Rum Creek, the structure had recently been deemed by the City of Rockford to be a threat to life, limb, and property and was ordered torn down. Demolition began at the rear east side of the building and will finish street side, on the west, at the front of the building facing Monroe Street. Pitsch reports all is moving smoothly without a hitch and expects the tear down to be complete by the end of this week (Friday, Oct. 5).
Wise Photography, established in 1995, is moving and expanding into a new location at 1 N. Main. “I’m excited about the new location because of the added exposure” Wise said. “I have a lot of art that no one has been able to see, just hiding in my computer waiting for a chance to be seen.” “I know many people who have lived in Rockford for years and did not know we were downtown. This time around they will not be able to miss us.”
by RICH ZECK The Ram Nation was more than just a store with hip styles and every kind of Rockford paraphernalia; it was a business that defines what the American entrepreneurial spirit is all about. People may see the store’s closing as a sign of the times-but don’t feel sorry for owners Kevin and Rachelle Butler. This couple is passionate about their community and they decided to take the risk. They saw an opportunity and never looked back. Kevin states, “We have never been shy about taking risks. There have been many times that we took a risk and it turned out very well. Sometimes things work out great, sometimes they don’t, but we can’t be afraid of falling down.” Many of us have fallen down or experienced a failed opportunity just like the Butlers. We have a choice to either stay down or as Kevin says, “it’s time to turn the page and open the doors to the next opportunity.” This Saturday, March 28, ends one chapter for the Butlers as they liquidate everything in the store. They will be selling everything at 70 percent off. You can be sure that they will continue giving away warm welcomes and a friendly smile to the people who supported them through their endeavor until the last sale. Running a small business is not always the dream that most people envision it to be. There are many ups and downs, lots of sweat and tears, along with many hours. Did I say long hours? However, without a strong supportive community like Rockford, many small businesses would never make it as far as they do. As a last parting gift, the Butlers plan to donate $1,000 to Rockford Public Schools Student Activities. The next time you think about going to the mall to shop or eat at a restaurant, think about spending those dollars right here in your town. Every dollar you spend, no matter how small, makes a difference. We are a generous and supportive community that stands behind our locally owned businesses and on behalf of all of us and the Butlers, thank you.
CARSTAR of Rockford is giving away a 37-inch television. Rockford Dry Dock will have some samples of different foods they sell. Nugent Builders can tell you about the good reasons to invest in improving your home now. Four people will win $500 in cash. Why wouldn’t you go? Last year 11,000 people took the time to enjoy the Rockford Community EXPO, scheduled for this Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to Brenda Davis, executive director of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event is again a sell-out with more to offer than ever. There will be over 180 booths inside and outside Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes. The EXPO underscores the Chamber’s re-investment in its members and surrounding businesses. Last year’s blockbusting event attracted more than 11,000 people who enjoyed the day discovering the breadth of what Rockford-area businesses have to offer. “Last year’s event was a complete success and we are building on our experience again this year to make it even better,” said Davis.