Katie Unsworth

Right at Home celebrates seventh year

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

Downtown shop a long-time dream for owners Lynda Volkhardt remembers what it was like to be a young mother with no money and an eye for things she couldn’t afford. She learned to shop smart and find a good bargain. That common sense approach and the wisdom of age are traits she attributes to the success of her downtown shops, Right at Home and Urban Elements. Right at Home was opened seven years ago in another location and moved to 30 N. Main when the Volkhardts purchased the historic Hessler Opera House building on Main Street. The extra space allowed them to open Urban Elements and offer even more to their customers. This year, daughter Katie Unsworth joined the family venture full time. Unsworth has long had a hand in the operations, contributing to the upbeat, casual atmosphere of the business. “She’s always done the fun part,” said Lynda, explaining that Katie is responsible for games and playful promotions that customers embrace enthusiastically. Many in Rockford will know Katie, a 1987 Rockford graduate (then Katie Gual) who maintains a passion for tennis. She has organized the Rockford Community Education tennis program and also implemented similar programs in Cedar Springs and Sparta. Volkhardt and Unsworth say they buy what they like for the store, and customers seem to enjoy their taste. “We hear we have a lot of really different selection than anyone else,” Lynda confides. Volkhardt said she has always been conscious of pricing and tries to offer a wide price range. She remembers when she was a young mom and she’d shop for her own home, coming back with a $1.50 candle or straw flowers. Since Katie was a toddler, Lynda wished she could open a shop in Rockford and offer the kind of deals she loved to find. Back when Lynda first had her dream of her own shop, she was interested in the building where Vitale’s is now located. She liked the Copper Pig store and also Baskets in the Belfry, tucked away in the attic of the antique mall. “I wanted to sell new and used accessories, but I had three little kids, life was busy and I didn’t have any money,” she recalled. In April 2003 she opened Right at […]