Dan Druck knows what it's like to be on the bad side of the economy.
His job was eliminated due to a number of factors. After sending out more than 400 resumes, he couldn't find any job even close to what he was looking for.
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So, Druck decided to go in a completely different direction -- a field that was inspired by his own experiences with the economy.
He opened the store Knock It Off in December along Randall Road, in the Algonquin Commons outdoor mall.
The store, which is near Claire's, sells designer-inspired merchandise, or knockoffs as they're commonly called.
The retail space is filled with purses, wallets, scarves, sunglasses and more.
Soon, Druck said, he'll be adding jewelry to his inventory.
Given the economy, he said, he thinks it's a perfect time for a store such as Knock It Off, which is his own business venture -- not a chain.
"I thought a good business for the recession would be products people can afford, but at the same time, help them kind of feel good about the way they look," Druck said. "In this tough economy we all have to tighten our belts. But it doesn't mean you still can't look good doing it."
Knock It Off has more than 100 varieties and styles of purses in the store, and almost 1,000 different sunglasses. He has sunglasses for women, men and children.
"I don't think there's just one big seller," Druck said. "Everybody has individual tastes, and the selection I carry is really trying to reach across different spectrums of tastes. There are many popular items."
None of his purses, he said, are priced over $49.95. And many, he said, are less than that.
"In this economy the designer counterpart would cost close to 10 times that," he said.
Druck said because of his prices and his selection, the business seems to be growing daily, especially through word-of-mouth.
"Not everyone can afford to pay designer prices," he said. "This, they can."
Free gift with purchase: If you're shopping at Geneva Commons this spring, you'll want to make sure to save your receipts, because just for shopping, you'll get a free gift.
The Randall Road mall is offering you a free gift for showing $75 or more in receipts.
If you bring your $75 in receipts from Geneva Commons stores and restaurants to Aveda/Annabella SalonSpas, you'll get a free pampering gift of Aveda Hand Relief.
There is one free gift available per person. Quantities are limited, so you'll want to show your receipts as soon as you spend the money.
The gift could be the perfect little extra to give mom this Mother's Day.
Coming soon: A new restaurant will be joining the Randall Road corridor in Algonquin soon.
Georgia's Restaurant is opening this spring in the former IHOP restaurant building at 1470 S. Randall Road, in front of Wal-Mart.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 894-5036.