MOUNT MORRIS – Tashua Houpt had dreamed of opening a crafting store for years.
Houpt, the owner of The Unique Boutique in Mount Morris, said that she went as far as looking at spaces for the store years ago.
“I just chickened out,” she said, adding that she had younger children at the time.
So instead she waited and opened her dream business in the middle of a pandemic. Not exactly the best timing, but she found a space that was perfect.
“I ran across this place and it was just too good to pass up,” she said of the building at 7 E. Center St. “We’ve been doing OK, considering the setbacks of 2020.”
The Unique Boutique is currently home to 20 crafters, including Houpt. She said people can find just about any kind of item, and those items can be personalized. From photos printed on metal, to quilting, crochet and wood.
“People come her looking for a unique gift,” said Erin Vasquez, who works with Houpt.
Houpt said they have had customers from all over Ogle County as well places like Rockford and Sycamore since they opened in October. She said that most of the crafters that rent space from her are from Ogle County, but some are from out of the county.
Houpt said her goal is to have all of the space available for crafters filled this year.
“We need more crafters,” she said, adding that anyone interested can reach her at 815-677-4302.
She said there is room for 10-15 more crafters. She also encouraged artists of all kinds to come and check out the space.
“I really want to have an extensive amount of crafts to where anybody that walks in can pick up something for anybody,” she said.
Once COVID-19 is contained, Houpt said she will be hosting a variety of crafting and painting parties.
For now, Houpt keeps getting the word out that she has unique items and they can personalize pretty much anything. And she said the feedback has been great.
“People have really enjoyed it,” she said.