GLEN ELLYN – When describing her hand-drawn, handmade home decor and gift products, designer Shawn Sargent tends to use one particular adjective: Joyful.
After a year of running her business from home, she has moved her joyful products into Bayan Tree Mall, 485 Main St. She opened the doors to her store July 7.
Sargent, a self-described “artist by nature” has dabbled in photography, drawing, mixed media and nontraditional materials. She went to school at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and moved to Chicago to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The products at her store all feature her own designs and range from tea towels, pillowcases, gift wrap and snappy purses.
“When I was doing this I realized later that it gave me something really joyful to do and it’s a very meditative process,” she said. “When I do the drawings, I get lost in the drawings for hours.”
Sargent said most of her inspiration for her cheery colorful designs comes from her brother, who died in a car accident. She described her brother as joyful and happy, qualities that she translates into her designs.
“It kept that sense of something uplifting and joyful and cheery around, “ she said. “For me, he was like the light in the room when he walked in.”
Sargent also describes her designs as maintaining a middle ground between modern and retro, while appealing to people of all ages.
“It suits a lot of different age ranges and genders,” she said.
While her brother serves as a lot of the inspiration for her designs, her family has helped her cultivate her business into a success. Her mother helped her regain her sewing skills and her husband serves as a graphic designer and helps her with labels, logos and packaging.
Other established Glen Ellyn business owners have also taken notice of her unique designs and burgeoning business.
Jill Foucré, owner of Marcel’s Culinary Experience and upcoming cheese and wine shop Marché, stopped in Sargent’s new shop and was impressed with what she saw.
“I thought it was darling,” she said. “I thought that it was really bright and fresh and her fabrics and designs are very appealing and contemporary.”
Foucré also said that Glen Ellyn could use more custom-designed products with those individualized qualities.
“I love the individual artwork aspect of it,” she said. “It would be less impactful if she was using pillows making fabric that she purchased, but the fact that she’s designing fabric herself is special.”
Foucré said she is excited to have another business in Glen Ellyn and is hopeful the community embraces Shawn Sargent Designs.
Sargent also looks forward to the perks of having her business in Glen Ellyn, a town she has grown to love.
She hopes to continue to introduce new products and branch out into coffee cups, mugs, customized wallpaper, cellphone cases, bags and decals.
Sargent also plans on offering classes ranging from 3-D mixed media, sewing, drawing and design at her location.
A grand opening for the store is planned Sept. 18.
If you go
• WHAT: Shawn Sargent Designs
• WHERE: 485 Main St. Unit D, Banyan Tree Mall, Glen Ellyn
• WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays
• INFO: 312-375-5581 or shawnsargentdesigns.com