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From apparel to furniture, downtown Downers Grove greets new shops

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 3:27 p.m. CST

DOWNERS GROVE – Downtown Downers Grove shoppers will notice several new businesses in the coming months, including businesses that will offer photo processing, vintage furniture, running apparel, wedding gifts and invitations, among others.

1. Peak Running

Where: 1,126 square feet at 945 Burlington Ave. (former sales office for Acadia condos)

Tiffany Cruickshank, marathon runner and race director of the Run Like a Mother, is opening her running shoe, apparel and accessories store downtown in early March.

The Hinsdale resident said she wants experienced runners and novices to feel comfortable walking into her store.

“I want to be able to provide an environment where people can start from ground zero, maybe learn how to run or fall in love with running or walking,” she said.

She said the foot traffic in downtown Downers Grove and location near the Metra station made the spot appealing.

“When my husband and I go out for a glass of wine or a bite to eat, Downers Grove is where we go. So it just seemed very natural for us to want to open a business in Downers Grove.

2. Vintage Fresh

Where: 2,500 square feet at 5122 Main St. (former first floor of Dream Interiors, which consolidated its business.

Sisters-in-law Erin Counihan and Kelly Holmes have filled their garages and basements in Clarendon Hills with vintage furniture and home decor items and decided to bring their passion to a brick-and-mortar store after previous experience selling items from a booth at an antique mall.

“We’re not even open yet and everyone seems happy that we’re coming,” Counihan said. “So I couldn’t be more happy to be in that location.”

Counihan describes their style as “shabby chic.” They will offer painted and unpainted vintage furniture items. The also will offer items from other dealers specializing in mid-century modern and other styles.

“We want people to come in. And depending on what your style is, to be able to find something, whether it’s a piece of furniture or a home decor item or a gift,” she said.

3. Foto Houze

Where: 900 square feet at 5155 Main St. (former location of Runners Grove)

Professional photographer and former longtime manager of a Wolf Camera store, Kevin Beasley said he chose the spot next to Ballydoyle for his new photo processing, production and printing store after returning to Downers Grove after living several years in Atlanta and seeing a revitalized downtown.

“Now with the amount of bars and eateries, the foot traffic is tremendous,” he said.

He is aiming for an early February opening.

The professional photo lab will develop traditional film photos. He also will offer a wide array of printing and Photoshop services for digital and film images.

He said he sees the store as a place where people can get their photos printed but also receive professional advice and assistance on how to better use their cameras and improve their photography. He said in the age of Internet shopping, selling cameras themselves doesn’t make sense.

“Even though we won’t sell cameras, we will be very knowledgeable,” he said.

4. 221 Creations

Where: 700 square feet in 1008 Curtiss St. (previously Gabby’s Gifts)

Bridal invitation and gift business 221 Creations started as a side gig to co-owners Mary Kay Vincenti’s and Beth Janus’s marketing business in Lisle named One Two One Creative Communications.

It has now outgrown its retail space adjacent to the marketing business, and both Vincenti and Janus live in Downers Grove, making it an easy choice for the new location, Vincenti said.

“Any day or night you go down there and there’s something going on,” she said.

Vincenti said she started making bridal announcements and invitations when clients and friends remarked on printed work the marketing business did for nonprofits.

In addition to wedding invitations and announcements, the store will offer veils and a wide selection of gifts along with prom items and fashion jewelry.

She said she will be looking to hire employees for the new store.

“We’re looking for happy people more than experienced people,” Vincenti said.

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