A Little Time and a Keyboard: A Morning of Small Business Shopping in Elgin, Illinois

A Morning of Small Business Shopping in Elgin, Illinois

Saturday, June 18, 2022

 A Morning of Small Business Shopping in Elgin, Illinois

Supporting Local By Discovering Elgin Small Businesses 

Disclosure: Thank you to Explore Elgin Area for hosting our visit.

Elgin, Illinois is the home to an interesting mix of small businesses beckoning for exploration. On one morning of our visit, we meandered through a few and found new favorites!

Exploring a Cache of Small Businesses at Meraki Market Hub

Meraki Market Hub not only provided us with the perfect rainy day escape during our visit but also delighted us with products from a large cache of unique local artisans. The charming marketplace also features a coffee bar, so come ready to pick up a coffee concoction or baked treat. 

Elgin's Meraki Market Hub features a range of items from local artisans and vendors  including home decor, beauty products, clothing and more.
Elgin's Meraki Market Hub features a range of items from local artisans and vendors
 including home decor, beauty products, clothing and more.

Meraki's treasures unfold in a series of rooms spanning two floors. The shopping wonderland holds an array of items including bath and body products, decorative pieces, clothing, journals, hand-poured candles, handcrafted jewelry and so much more. We have discovered fantastic Elgin souvenirs!

Shopping for locally made Elgin souvenirs at Meraki Market Hub.
Shopping for locally made Elgin souvenirs at Meraki Market Hub.

With so many products on display, I recommend taking your time while wandering Meraki Market Hub. In fact, Meraki is the type of spot where I will amble through twice to absorb everything. 

Enjoy More Small Business Adventures at Elgin Area Foodie Spots.

Spa items at Meraki Market Hub invite you to a little pampering.
Spa items at Meraki Market Hub invite you to a little pampering.

I learned that "meraki" is a Greek word referring to the concept that you leave a little something of yourself in your work. I love this because I have always thought that when thinking about a souvenir, you should purchase something made in the location because you are bringing a piece of that locale's heart back with you. So, Meraki Market Hub's message really connected with me.

Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery

As lovers of local art, we made a stop inside the Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery to learn what the gallery is all about.  Immediately upon entering, we became drawn in by the gorgeous paintings adorning the walls of the shop. We met co-owner and artist, Sarah Mooney.  Sarah is amazing and will enthusiastically explained all of the art inside the gallery. Her art is inspired by a variety of interests including abstracts, nature and people. Sarah's husband and gallery co-owner Jose Manuel Mooney was working on a tattoo during our visit. Manny draws his inspiration from Mexican culture, world history, and people he encounters in life. He also is a painter and has painted murals in the Chicago area.

Admiring paintings adorning the walls of the Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery.
Admiring paintings adorning the walls of the Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery.

Art within the gallery includes Sarah and Manny's paintings as well as print. An eclectic variety of additional pieces include jewelry and Mexican folk art. Sarah and Manny choose exciting pieces from their travels to Mexico and the West Coast to sell in their gallery. So, visitors are not only treated to fantastic local art but also something out-of-ordinary that may spark delight. 

rtwork in process on an easel at Funky Rooster.
Artwork in process on an easel at Funky Rooster.

While visiting, I noticed an easel in the gallery. Jose Manuel does sometimes paint in the gallery! I love seeing art in action! Both Manny and Sarah are tattoo artists. We loved their mix of tattoo designs on display -- a blend of fun, intriguing and beautiful.

Tattoo designs and paintings at Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery.
Tattoo designs and paintings at Funky Rooster Tattoo and Art Gallery.

Cook's Sweet Boutique

After our lunch at Elgin Public House, we ambled into nearby Cook's Sweet Boutique. Upon entering, we immediately felt like children in a candy shop. With decor bursting with whimsy and cheer, Cook's presents a treasure trove full of sweet temptations including nostalgic candies, flavored sodas, truffles, ice cream, candy charcuterie boards, sweet-filled gift baskets and more! Totally a place to achieve your candy goals!

Cook's Sweet Boutique charms with whimsical decor and  a treasure trove of sweet treats.
Cook's Sweet Boutique charms with whimsical decor and
 a treasure trove of sweet treats.

Upstairs, Cook's Sweet Boutique has a dreamy, wonder filled activity area perfect for children's events. I really felt the amazement and specialness of being in such a beautiful spot built for children. The space is perfect for tween parties. My daughter would have been in heaven when she was younger! Cook's has done a fantastic job with this space crafting a lovely spot for a birthday party!

Dreamy party spaces perfect for a young girl's party at Cook's Sweet Boutique.
Dreamy party spaces perfect for a young girl's party at Cook's Sweet Boutique.

Ready to Return to Elgin

We really just scratched the surface exploring small businesses in Elgin. We will need to return on another small business adventure soon! We loved Meraki Market Hub, Cook's Sweet Boutique and Funky Rooster. On our next visit, we will need to return to our new favorites and discover more small business finds.


A Morning of Small Business Shopping in Elgin, Illinois







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