LAKE IN THE HILLS – A quirky gift shop known for its unique merchandise shut down its brick-and-mortar store and is making the move to operate online only.
Funky Munky recently celebrated its 26th year in business, growing from a cart at Spring Hill Mall to a storefront at 323 N. Randall Road, Lake in the Hills.
Owner Jodi Galle said she constantly is trying to change as people’s shopping experiences change. She looks back on her time at a kiosk cart when going to the mall was more of a social experience – something people would spend a whole day doing with their family, Galle said.
“Now, people are doing more and more shopping online, and items are becoming buyable on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and bringing users the ability to buy right there without even leaving those apps,” Galle said. “Online shopping is 24/7. You have to start to justify your expenses and the cost of having a brick-and-mortar store.”
The closing was announced in November, with the store’s last day on Christmas Eve.
People still can buy goods online at shopfunkymunky.com. The store sells clothing, jewelry, gift items, tapestries, body jewelry, incense, band T-shirts from all over the world and more, Galle said.
With the store’s youthful spirit, Galle said she would see customers come back during holidays or school breaks, but as those customers grew up, she would lose a phase of people. She is excited because with the online store people will be able to shop from wherever they are.
This summer, Galle plans to attend local festivals and sell a limited amount of merchandise as a pop-up store.
“That is the one thing that will be the biggest challenge: going from a locally owned brick-and-mortar store to online is that it’s not as personal of an interaction,” Galle said. “We hope to continue keeping Funky Munky as special and unique of a shop as it has always been.”