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Retail Profile: Eclectic Design Source, Libertyville, Illinois

Margaret and Mary Rosemeyer are the mother and daughter duo behind Eclectic Design Source, a retail and interior eds1design boutique that opened in May 2010 in the heart of historic downtown Libertyville, Ill. In the two years since, the Rosemeyers have built a strong retail customer base, stayed fully booked with interior design projects, were named Best Decorating Resource by Make it Better magazine and have been recognized as a "Gifted Retailer" by Home Accents Today's sister publication Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Prior to opening their shop, Margaret operated for years from a home office. "I still lived at home, and my room was right down the hallway; she would always poke her head in and we would choose fabrics and trim for her clients together on my bed," said Mary, who has a B.S. in Merchandising Management. "So, when I lost my job and was going on interview after interview, I kept poking her saying, ‘We can do this. You're an amazing designer and businesswoman, and I can manage the store and do our marketing. We have a unique skill set, and I think people would like what we do.'"

At present, the women are excited about completing the build-out for an in-store design studio. "It was something we meant to do when we first opened, but we became so busy that it had to be pushed to the back burner," Mary said. "It will be a fully functioning studio where we can work, consult with clients and spread out in style. We're really excited for that new chapter."

Describe your store: While I (Mary) really admire stores that have meticulously arranged vignettes, for me there is a certain magic that comes with subtle suggestion and letting the customer discover their own path through the store.

Mary and Margaret Rosemeyer, Eclectic Design SourceOwners Margaret and Mary Rosemeyer say their shop is a reflection of the mother-daughter duo “doing what we love to do.”
People always tell us that they have to comb through slowly because there is so much to look at in unusual places. That makes me happy - it's like treasure hunting. I always want it to feel like an enjoyable and exciting experience, not shopping. We want our boutique to feel homey and not too much like a store, so we often keep the lights a little lower; we've had people say it feels like a spa. Style-wise, we don't like to pigeonhole ourselves into one look, but "traditional with a twist" sums it up pretty nicely. Aside from all of that, it's my mom and me doing what we love to do; we think people feel that when they come through the doors.

What makes you different from the competition? When we first opened, there were several home and gift stores in Libertyville, but none that offered design services. It was always our goal to be a one-stop shop for the home. Aside eds2from retail, we offer interior design, "design to go" for those who don't need full service design work, accessorizing and space planning. Margaret is also a Master Gardener and AIFD floral designer and creates amazing custom arrangements as well as outdoor container planters and garden designs. Come November, we're booked solid for our holiday decorating services. Our visual merchandising/window display services are beginning to pick up as well. I am passionate for display and love working with small businesses.

Describe your customer: Our average customer is someone who understands that the best things in life are free, and the second best things come with a sizable price tag! They enjoy surrounding themselves with beautiful, quality things but do not let those things define them.

How do you reach your customers? Primarily word of mouth. We often send out handwritten thank yous to our customers, and many times they have called us to say thank you for the thank you.In an age of super-fast information, small gestures like that mean a lot to people. Plus, I just love really nice paper.

Do you use social media? Yes! We love to connect with our clients and customers! We are most active on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. It's fun to share inspiration with our customers and see what inspires them, too.

Best in-store event you've ever hosted: We just hosted a Pyar & Co. trunk show benefiting the local chapter of Girls on the Run. The theme centered eds3around our mutual love of India. We chatted about pillows, enjoyed Indian-inspired dishes provided by our kitchen store neighbor, and drank spicy grapefruit margaritas (the winning cocktail voted by our Facebook fans). There was a lotof great energy, and (Pyar designer) Paula Queen is such a doll. 

About what percentage of your merchandise are home accents? 85%; the remaining 15% is bath products and high-quality candles.

What's hot? More color, pattern and mixing of styles and eras, particularly funky fabrics on traditional shapes.

Categories you carry: Accent furniture, lamps, lighting, wall décor, pillows and throws, mirrors, floral arrangements, tabletop and entertaining, home fragrance, decorative accessories

Key vendors: Roost, Currey & Company, Arteriors, Zodax, Highland House, Pyar & Co., Native Vermont, David Becker

Website: eclecticds.com

Address: 518 N. Milwaukee Ave. Libertyville, Ill. 60048

 

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