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Business offers space for artists to sell wares

Peggy LeMieux of DeKalb smells a bar of soap Thursday at the Two Sisters' Emporium in Sycamore. LeMieux was looking for a gift for a girls' night party.
Peggy LeMieux of DeKalb smells a bar of soap Thursday at the Two Sisters' Emporium in Sycamore. LeMieux was looking for a gift for a girls' night party.

SYCAMORE – Art shop owner and Sycamore resident Lisa Hohlfeld still has plenty of ideas after her first three months in business.

Two Sisters' Emporium, 215 W. State St., Sycamore, sells work by local artists as well as Hohlfeld's all-natural soaps, lotion bars, lip balm, candles and jewelry.

Hohlfeld, who named the shop after her 10- and 12-year-old daughters, now is in the process of offering several art classes and workshops. One of them, a meet-and-greet event presented by another of Hohlfeld's daughters, will take place from 11 a.m. to noon March 15.

"(The shop) will always be changing," Hohlfeld said. "There will always be somebody new and something new to come see."

Hohlfeld said she wanted to start the business because she's sold her wares at craft shows in the past and knows how much works goes into them.

"I thought people like me would like to have a place but can't afford one or don't have enough stuff to sell," she said. "I thought, I bet more people can set up and sell stuff and not have to cart everything around."

Hohlfeld hopes to hand the store over to her daughters as they grow older, she said.

Rose Treml, executive director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, said the business is unlike any other in the area.

"When local artists have an opportunity to showcase their work and sell their work, it has an impact on our culture and our community," Treml said.

About a dozen artists rent out store space, paying a monthly fee, to sell their work. Artists receive 100 percent of what they sell for that month, Hohlfeld said.

The artists seem to be enjoying the extra business. Hampshire artist Gail Brage sells buckle bracelets, made from recycled belts, with her daughter, Jamie Barwick.

Brage said the duo has been doing pretty well with their business considering the poor weather.

"We're doing pretty good. I can't complain," she said. "We bring our stuff. [Lisa] does all the work and lets us know how things are going."

The artists are not required to be at the store when their artwork is for sale.

Pingree Grove artist Bob Kapheim sells multiple works of art at Two Sisters' Emporium, including glass-fused works, jewelry dishes, milk cards and pencil drawings.

A Northern Illinois University alumnus, Kapheim said being involved with Two Sisters' Emporium gives him and other artists an opportunity to get exposure in an area where they may not have had previous experience.

"Everybody feeds off the other person," he said. "It's good exposure for everybody."


Know more

What: Two Sisters' Emporium

Address: 215 W. State St., Sycamore

Phone: 815-991-7175


Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

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