by BETH ALTENA Katie Unsworth, owner of Right At Home Rockford since last fall, at least nominally,has announced that the store will close after twelve years serving customers in the Rockford area and beyond. Katie took over the business after the retirement of her mother, Lynda who is moving out of the area with husband Mike. Unsworth is at peace with the decision to close Right At Home and believes God is getting her ready for the next big adventure in her life. Right At Home opened at a former location down the street but has been at the current location at 30 N. Main Street since moving to a larger space to expand inventory and better serve customers. The upbeat, eclectic store offers home furnishings, from occasional furniture, wall art, and table top accessories to linens, jewelry, glassware, and a mix of fun items for both the home and yourself! Often found manning the store together, mother and daughter over time built lasting relationships with many of their customers. Even the name of the store reflects this shared attitude of offering a relaxing, fun shop to find new and unexpected treasures to take home. “We always wanted people to feel right at home here, that’s why we chose that name,” said Unsworth. The transition for her to take over the shop came after Mike faced medical concerns and he and Lynda decided it was time to step back and let Katie continue the store as sole proprietor. Unsworth said a variety of things caused the transition to not go as smoothly as all had hoped and they realized it would not be so easy to give Right At Home the fresh start for Katie. As a family they made the decision that the best thing to do would be to close the store so everyone could move ahead. “It wasn’t about whether the store was doing well or not doing well,” Katie noted. She said customers have continued to be supportive and everyone who knows about the announcement is sad. She described the decision as ‘The end of an era,’ and said it is those customers she will miss. “It’s the people that make it worth while, not the money,” she stated. “It’s important […]
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.