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Sage Creek a 'perfect fit'
By Alicia Fabbre | Daily Herald Columnist

Christina Kwasniewski and her daughter Amelie, who turns 1 Sunday, spend time in the family's St. Charles shop, Sage Creek.

 

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

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Published: 2/22/2008 12:17 AM

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It was just two months after Christina and Mark Kwasniewski opened a shop in Campton Square when the company Mark worked for went bankrupt.

Christina had quit her job just two years earlier after the couple's eldest son was born. Figuring she couldn't return to the corporate world, Christina decided to expand her own business and the shop -- Sage Creek -- in Campton Square was the latest evolution of her work. Sage Creek had started two years earlier in the form of rented space within other, larger shops.

The couple figured Mark would continue with his regular job for a bit -- but never imagined he would become part of the business within two months of opening their own shop.

"It was quite a surprise," Christina recalls. "But we just never looked back."

As it turned out, the couple found their passion. Christina, who previously worked in the world of real estate investment, gets to show off her creative side. Mark, who studied art, also gets to show off his talent, whether it be in murals he paints for customers, the painted furniture sometimes featured in the shop, or the custom countertop he created for Sage Creek.

"It's really a perfect fit," Christina said.

And apparently, it's been a successful fit as well. In November, the couple moved their shop to a storefront on Route 64 near Randall Road. The move tripled the shop's floor space.

To fill that extra space, the couple is expanding a variety of the items they carry. Customers, for example, will soon find an expanded line of clothing, children's toys and clothing and furniture.

The shop, which some describe as "vintage," carries everything from scented candles and French laundry powders to pewter measuring spoons and decorative fireplace screens.

"It's one of a kind," customer Pam Todd said of the shop. "It is an enchanting place."

Todd says she relies on the shop for Christmas gifts for family and often visit's the shop when looking for a gift for a friend or relative or sometimes just to treat herself.

Customers can turn to the Kwasniewskis for help in decorating their homes, with Christina offering decorating advice and Mark available to paint murals or furniture.

Though Christina admits opening and running the shop hasn't always been easy, the couple's determination has not wavered.

"The one thing we've always known is that this is what we're meant to do," she said.

She's also happy that what started out as a small shop has turned into not only a growing business but also is a part of her family's life.

"What started out as just a way of me staying home turned into a whole lifestyle thing for our whole family," she said.

Christina said the couple plans to work on expanding various lines within the shop. They also plan to improve the shop's Web site and make shopping online easier for customers.

Sage Creek is located at 1920 W. Main St. in St. Charles and can be reached by calling (630) 377-2455. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Customers can also visit the shop online at www.sagecreekltd.com.