Amy McDonald opened her own business in downtown Rockford when she and her husband Trevor moved back to downtown Rockford in 2020 after living in Houston, Texas, and Greenville, South Carolina for nearly a decade. I had a vision to open it.
On Thursday, MacDonald’s dream will become a reality as her business, Elora Home Interiors, 214 E. State St., celebrates its grand opening.
“We provide everything you need to decorate your home,” McDonald said. “We also have gift items like pillows and blankets, candles, hand soap, lotions and accessories. We also offer some really nice handbags and jewelry, but most of the items in the store are for home use.”
MacDonald started Elora Home Interiors from her home two years ago, but wasn’t ready to commit to a storefront until her two young children were in school.
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MacDonald is very comfortable in her new space. She worked briefly last fall at London Avenue Designs, a floral design, event planning and interior decorating business that previously occupied her storefront.
London Avenue Designs closed in November so business owner Lori Eickhoff could focus on her health and family.
“I’ve known Lori for a long time. We went to middle school and high school together,” McDonald said. “She asked me to work for her, but on my first day on the job, I was told they were closing down. So I thought, ‘Maybe I should move here.’ Ta.”
The opening of Elora Home Interiors is the latest development in the evolving landscape of the city’s downtown business district.
Reclaimed by Sonya’s Owner Sonya Dowdakin plans to vacate her space at 330 E. State St. in late December and move to 510 E. State, the space currently occupied by 510threads But this location will be closed this month.
Woodfire Pizza owner Joe Dastis will purchase Carlyle Brewing Company, located at 215 East State Street, from retiring owner Don Carlyle. Woodfire Pizza will continue to operate at 408 E. State St.
more:Popular brewery in downtown Rockford has new ownership just up the street
The owners of Capri Pizza are planning to rebuild after their store at 313 East State Street was severely damaged in an October fire. No exact reopening date has been announced.
“It’s a natural part of business that some stores will open and others will close,” River District Association President John Groh said. “National statistics show that independent retailers and restaurants are booming in and out. We are saddened to see some (companies) leave, but it also opens the door to new ideas and new stores. We know that there will be opportunity and space to open and parallel (companies) that have been around for a long time.”
Elora Home Interiors will be open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We will be open with expanded business hours during the summer.
For now, MacDonald will be the only employee at her store, but her husband, Trevor, will help out one day a week.
“I like the energy of downtown,” McDonald said. “I love history and I love old buildings. I think it’s fun to be part of a community with other local small businesses and manufacturer companies. I love everything and I’m glad to be here. I’m very excited.”
Ken DeCoster covers business news and features. Contact us at 815-987-1391, [email protected] or @DeCosterKen.