The Candle Shop

BowDacious, Candle Shop consolidate under one roof

August 18, 2011 // 0 Comments

Candle Shop, Burlap-n-Rags leave location after 32 years  by BETH ALTENA Shoppers will no longer be able to find The Candle Shop and Burlap-n-Rags at the little red store at 52 Courtland Street in downtown Rockford, but will soon find the inventory from those two businesses at 27A North Main Street, where Meg Franz has operated BowDacious for just over five years. Franz is excited about the consolidation, although she admitted to having shed tears more than once at the idea of closing the doors where her parents ran the businesses before her. She chooses to see it as an opportunity to streamline business and expand inventory. “We will completely close August 21, 22 and 23 to move and have a grand re-opening Saturday, September 10,” Franz stated. Catered by Twisted Vine, Franz said she believes people will absolutely love the new look of the store as well as the new product lines she will introduce during the grand re-opening. She said the back section of her store will combine wedding and baby items, the middle will be shabby chic and “artsy fartsy,” and the front will be the rest of the apparel, jewelry and home décor. Blended throughout will be The Candle Shop inventory and her mother Sally’s rug-hooking will be in an “earthy” nook. Franz’s husband, Charlie, who has been holding down the fort at The Candle Shop, will now be able to concentrate on his custom candle business, which he has been doing for 38 years. Franz believes he is the only person in the area left who still creates candles with wedding invitations, memorial photos, congratulatory cards or about anything else built into the candle for viewing. The candles can be burned in such a way that they last forever and can be a permanent memento of significant milestones. Franz is sure the transition will be a new era in her business and hopes her loyal customers, and new ones, will be as excited as she is. The hours at BowDacious are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or, as Franz likes to point out, “until the last customer is ready to leave. When people are in shopping, I stay open.”

Rockford artist celebrates milestone anniversary

May 19, 2011 // 0 Comments

Sally Charnley has seen many businesses come and go, and business owners along with them, in her 35 years working in downtown Rockford. She never intended to start a store of her own back then and, ironically, having two was part of her key to success. Charnley has given up The Candle Shop and Burlap-N-Rags to her daughter and her husband, Meg and Charlie Frantz, but she still keeps a hand in her craft, holding a monthly rug-hooking hook-in. Divas-by-the-Dam meets the third Monday of the month in the upstairs room at Arnie’s, and a good dozen people talk about technique and style as they work at projects with rich roots in American history. Rug hooking is a craft at which Charnley is gifted, and she certainly can claim a wealth of experience. This May, Charnley celebrated her 35th year as a Rockford professional, a feat few can claim. “I had no intention of starting a business,” Charnley said. She came to town to get a piece of red glass from Gayle’s Stained Glass, back in the day when Rockford was a “mecca for arts and crafts.” She found a small shop for rent in The Grainery building, now long gone, but would not have had the courage to open a store alone. She decided to give it a go because Betty Szyszko, who worked with Charnley for the Grand Rapids Recreation Dept., and her husband, Gerry, a teacher, potter and macrame artist, agreed to share the tiny store. That gave her encouragement. Surrounded by other artists—those working in glass, pottery, weaving, leather, quilting and watercolors—Charnley grew her rug-hooking business. In 1980 she bought a building that had been The Village Munchies, an ice cream shop, and moved in at 52 Courtland Street. Soon after, The Candle Shop, started by Dorothy Anglin in 1973, moved in to share the building. Dorothy made candles, taught candlemaking, and stayed with the Charnleys until 1985, when she retired and sold her business to Sally and Pete. Charnley remembers the day a woman popped her head in the door and asked, “Don’t you have a basket shop in town?” It was Paula (then Mikulak) who opened Baskets in the Belfry, literally in a belfry. She took up most of the […]

More local products than ever before at downtown shop

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Candle Shop, Burlap-n-Rags, Bow-Dacious among town’s long-term businesses by BETH ALTENA “If we won’t support our economy, who will?” said Meg Frantz, owner of Bow-Dacious, The Candle Shop and Burlaps-n-Rags in downtown Rockford. Frantz, following in the footsteps of her parents, appreciates the subtleties of running a successful business—or two. Frantz took over her mother’s store of 35 years and picked up another five years ago. Among the important issues in keeping a small store going, even in rough times, is trying to support others in business. It’s a philosophy seen throughout downtown, where merchants support each other in a variety of ways and believe continued success for each depends on the success of downtown as a whole. Frantz believes this philosophy is also true of Michigan and our country and that, despite the Internet and global competition, it still is a small world where each of us can make a difference. Between both stores, shoppers can find over 20 lines of products made right here in our home state and 21 more made in the United States. In addition, Frantz tries to support sisters in need overseas, and like the WAR Chest Boutique, offers products made by women around the world trying to escape poverty or worse. Many artisans are also making use of reused items and recycled material as well as handmade products. She showed off the products of a local woman who Frantz met when the woman was an artist in Art in the Park. Another vendor uses handmade beads to create stunning, one-of-a-kind servingware. A shopper in the store testified to the product’s quality. “I bought one like that here two years ago and use it all the time. It gets thrown in the dishwasher along with every thing else and it’s held up wonderfully,” said Nancy Peitz of Dearborn, who describes herself as a frequent Rockford shopper. The story of how Frantz came to be among the shop owners of downtown Rockford is curious. She started out as an aspiring pre-law student, schooled at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University in pre-law. Her first job was in specialty child abuse and neglect at a sexual abuse center. “I went home crying every day,” Frantz said. She left that job. […]

StayCation offers plenty of reasons not to leave town

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Women just back from spring break vacation now have plenty of reasons to stick around town, at least on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16. If you are one of the out-of-towners who frequent the downtown shopping district, this is a great time to spend a few days here as well. The Heart of Rockford Business Association again this year is offering a Girlfriends StayCation with plenty of special offers and events. The StayCation kicks off April 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues April 16 during regular business hours. In addition to specials designed to spoil and pamper, one lucky winner will receive a Best of Rockford prize package plush with gift certificates, gifts, movie passes and more. According to organizer Christine Gault of A Charmed Life Nail Salon, the event is designed to highlight the many goods and services our little town has to offer. “This is a time of year when there isn’t a lot happening usually, but the weather is changing and it’s a great time for women to get out and celebrate that spring is coming,” Gault said. This is the event’s second year and last year resulted in a great turnout. With even more downtown shops participating, this year’s StayCation is even more exciting. Visitors to A Charmed Life Nail Salon can enjoy a free five-minute chair massage with the purchase of any service from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, a free hand paraffin with any specialty manicure, pedicure or shellac manicure. In addition the first 10 appointments booked will receive a Heart of Rockford shopping bag for future savings in downtown Rockford. At Baskets in the Belfry, enjoy 20% off your entire purchase and food-tastings (some exclusions may apply). On Saturday at 1 p.m. there will be a free demonstration on hand-tied bouquets at Rockford Flower Shop. At Great Northern Trading Company, join in their celebration of 34 years of serving Rockford and beyond. Everyone who enters the store will be allowed to choose a candy bar with a discount hidden under the label, ranging from 20 to 50 percent off the entire purchase. Dars Gems and Jewelry is offering 20 percent off one item and many in-store specials. […]