Local Business

Vintage meets modern at D Christine's in Marengo

MARENGO – On top of repurposed barn doors, or pickup slats made into a kitchen island, are locally made candles, purses, dishes, coffee mugs and earrings – among other things.

The items for sale and the furniture they sit on are made by local artists with local materials, which is the staple of D Christine's.

Christine Evitts, and her daughter, Danielle, opened D Christine’s in October.

The 49-year-old Marengo resident loves modern art.

The 23-year-old daughter lives in Hampshire and is a photographer who enjoys vintage art.

“We promote local artists in the area,” Christine said. “We focus on the art here. We live in a community that has great, talented people.”

About 20 artists have items for sale in the 1,200-square-foot shop.

Most of the items take anywhere from a day to a week to make.

There are soaps, candles, purses, pottery and furniture made from local artists, from mainly Marengo, Union, Harvard, Woodstock, and Rockford.

“We try not to go too far, we try to mainly focus here,” Christine said. “A lot of their materials come locally, also.”

On Sundays and Mondays the shop is closed as the Evitts look for artists, treasures and whatever they can find for their shop.

The mother and daughter insist the materials artists use come from American made material, such as wool for wool items coming from local farms.

“That’s very important to us,” Christine said.

“We wanted things you can’t find at a big store,” Danielle added. “Nothing in a retail concept that is mass produced. We’re trying to keep it small and shop locally.”

They want artists’ materials to come from northern Illinois or from just over the border in Wisconsin.

“Our first question ... when people bring things in, is 'where did you get your materials from?’” Christine said.

“We want to keep everything in our community. The money stays here, and the support stays here,” Christine added.

The owners want people to know they’re not a craft store, even though their items are handmade. The products are made by artisans.

“I’ve always loved galleries, and there’s not enough here,” Danielle said. “I started talking about eventually opening my own gallery and supporting the local talent and the local artists. .. There are a lot of amateur photographers or painters.”

Among the items for sale are ornaments made out of empty eggs with a ribbon and mini flowers attached.

They both have made things. Christine’s husband builds furniture. They’re always thrifting.

Their current space had been empty for seven years. The spot in the past was a pharmacy, auto parts store, grocery store and a frame shop. Before opening in time for Settlers' Days, they cleaned, painted and set up their shop in three weeks. They did all the work themselves.

"We look forward to being here for a long time," Christine said. "We're hoping to grow."

* * *

About D Christine’s:

What: Shop featuring handcrafted goods and art from local artisans.

Where: 127 S. State St. Marengo

Information: Cal 815-568-4034, or visit www.facebook.com/dchristines.theshop

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