Artist Sue Briesch recently opened a gift shop and gallery in Lake Zurich filled with the work of local artists.
Photography, jewelry, pottery and clothing are some of the items that shoppers will find at Wise Women Gallery and Gifts at 91 S. Rand Road in Lakeview Plaza next to Julio's Latin Cafe.
Briesch has been involved in the art industry and local retail scene for years. She said she sees a need for this type of shop that's similar to the Country Sampler craft consignment store that once operated in Lake Zurich and several other suburbs.
Briesch has 24 artists and authors that currently rent space at the shop to sell their work. "All the artists are from Chicago and the suburbs, she said. Briesch takes a percentage of what the artist sells to operate the business.
The entrepreneur is filling in the shelves with unusual merchandise. She currently sells the Crystal Journey line of candles as well as sage and crystals.
The quality of the artist's work is important to Briesch. "It's a juried shop. We want the quality level to be at a certain place. We want customers to know that this is a place to buy meaningful gifts, said Briesch, a resident of Oakwood Hills.
Briesch, who has sold her work at various art shows in the past, said she wants to give artists a permanent place to display and sell their work.
Briesch, who has painted and taught painting in the past, now makes gourd designs for the new shop. In the past she worked as a manager at All About Angels, a gift shop that operated in Lake Zurich for several years before it closed late in 2007.
The entrepreneur admits that launching a new business in the current economic climate is "scary. But she is confident in the concept adding, "I know this is something that's needed.
In creating the shop, Briesch, 59, said she took all the positives and eliminated the negatives of similar art shops and galleries.
The shop is closed Sunday and Mondays. It's open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m.
For more, check out wisewomengalleryandgifts.com.