Everthing's coming together for Adriana Kopecka and her partners at Rocking Horse Boutique, 119 N. Marion St.
Just less than a year after moving into its new corner spot in the Marion Street mall, Rocking Horse owners won the Downtown Oak Park 2004 Merchant of the Year award for its recent move. And on May 16 they opened a second children's store, Bugaboo Shoes, 1105 Westgate St., directly west of Rocking Horse.
The 550-square-foot space, with oversized flowers and green paint rising to meet blue, is meant to transform the shopper into a "bug in the garden," Kopecka said.
Kopecka and her partners?#34;mother Sylvia Silvero and sister Valeria Davidson?#34;got the idea for a new shop seven months ago after hearing customers repeatedly ask where a children's shoe store was.
The original name for the store was "Silver Steps," but decorating that theme grew too complicated. Kopecka stumbled on the bug idea and then "Bugaboo."
"Once we did that it was so easy to decorate," she said.
In addition to shoes, the shop sells purses, backpacks, socks and some jewelry. Kopecka is hiring new staff to help run the second store.
She said business on the mall has been weather-dependent, but Rocking Horse has grown since its move and expansion.
"I think we're a lot more visible now and we pretty much doubled our space," she said. The company also sells merchandise on the Internet at www.rockinghorseboutique.com.
Kopecka said the opening of Jerusalem Cafe across the mall from Bugaboo should attract business.
"There's been a nice little rebirth of Westgate," she said.
Look south for Sandra Ross
The Sandra Ross Salon has moved from its Marion Street mall home of five years to 339 Harrison St. in the Arts District.
Sandra Ross said clients have found her after the move, in part thanks to the fact that the salon's phone number did not change. And, Ross says she's added 75 new clients since her Easter weekend move.
"We're just as happy as we can be over here," she said.
Why make the move?
"Because the money over there," Ross said. "I couldn't afford it." She said monthly rent at her former 107 N. Marion St. location would have been $3,000.
The Harrison Arts District has welcomed her to the neighborhood, Ross said, and she's able to offer all of the services and keep all the employees from the previous location. She's even looking to add one or two stylists.
The 900-square-foot space on Harrison Street is 700 square feet smaller than her previous space.
The Sandra Ross Salon occupies the former home of Wacker Bait and Tackle, which moved west to 343 Harrison St.
Robinson hints at Harrison move
Charlie Robinson, owner of Robinson's No. 1 Ribs, has said that he might move his landmark business to Harrison Street. A larger space would allow the restaurant and catering businesses to operate out of the same facility.
Avenue hosts arts/cancer pairings
The Strike at Cancer Foundation will partner with art galleries on The Avenue this weekend for "Art Heals," an exhibit and benefit in celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day.
Lindsey Gallery, 111 N. Oak Park Ave., Boulevard Fine Art, 115 N. Oak Park Ave., and At the Gallery, 135 N. Oak Park Ave., will feature original works by three of the foundation's "Healing Artists," painters Ellen Lustig and Jordi Pedrola and fabric artist Christine Lussier.
Lussier is an Oak Parker, as is foundation marketing/PR vice president Barbara Weigand.
A reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 3, will begin a weekend-long exhibit.
A portion of the proceeds will help fund the foundation's Health Arts program, pairing community artists like those at the exhibit with cancer treatment centers to promote healing through expression.
"We believe arts have the ability to really take you out of yourself," Weigand said.
The foundation will also have a booth at Day in Our Village, Sunday, June 5, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cancer patients, survivors and their families and friends are invited to produce art as part of the Gallery of Hope and Celebration. Materials will be provided. Pieces made that day will be displayed at the Dole Branch Library starting June 25.