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updated: 9/13/2011 8:14 AM

Funky Things closes its doors, sells on eBay

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  • Becky Barrus, holding her son Jack in the background, recently closed the physical doors of her shop, Funky Things in Algonquin, while maintaining an online presence and eBay sales. Barrus cites competition from discount chains and a depressed economy as factors in her decision to move to online-only sales.

       Becky Barrus, holding her son Jack in the background, recently closed the physical doors of her shop, Funky Things in Algonquin, while maintaining an online presence and eBay sales. Barrus cites competition from discount chains and a depressed economy as factors in her decision to move to online-only sales.
    RICK WEST | Staff Photographer, 2009

  • Funky Things sells accessories and unique gifts. Owner Becky Barrus also does bead and feather parties

       Funky Things sells accessories and unique gifts. Owner Becky Barrus also does bead and feather parties
    RICK WEST | Staff Photographer, 2009

 
 

You still can get all of the fun, stylish accessories you love from Funky Things in Algonquin, but you just can't get them in the Randall Road area store any more.

After more than two years along the Randall Road corridor as one of the favorite destinations for fun and unique items for gifts and the home, Funky Things closed its doors earlier this month.

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However, owner Becky Barrus is keeping the business going in the form of an online store.

It just was not profitable any more to keep the physical store open, she said. She would sit in there for hours and wait for people to come through the door.

Meanwhile, she said, sales through her online store via eBay were going like gangbusters and were helping to pay the salaries of her employees.

So, she decided to close up the store on West Algonquin Road after 2 years.

"We're not out (of business). It's just online now," Barrus said.

The economy and competition from larger chains was just too tough to deal with, she said.

Barrus said she found the same bags she sells in her store at one of the larger chains just south on Randall Road in Algonquin Commons for 40 percent cheaper than she sold them. She said it would have been impossible to sell her items for the same price and still pay her rent, employees and utilities.

"I just couldn't compete," she said.

So, she said, she made the best decision for her family.

"I just decided, yeah, I need to do what's best for the family," she said. "It's unfortunate, but it wasn't fair to the kids, because Mommy was always completely stressed out about the business. I needed to go with the bigger picture and what was important to our family."

She decided to just focus on the online store aspect and selling the fun items she and her customers love, instead of focusing on the stress of the physical business and its costs.

In addition to the online sales, she's also still doing birthday parties and parties for other groups, including Scouts and moms' groups.

She'll bring her beads to your location so you can make bracelets, or put feathers in your hair at her parties, she said.

To find Barrus and Funky Things, go to funkythings.net, and you can find a link to the online eBay store.

Dogs allowed: Did you know that many of the stores at Geneva Commons in Geneva are pet friendly?

If you're shopping for an outfit for your tween, you can also bring your dog along to Justice for Girls.

Or, if you need some new kitchen accessories, you can bring your pets with you to pick them out at Williams-Sonoma.

Many of the restaurants at the mall also are pet friendly; however, their restriction is usually that it's only pet friendly outdoors. So if you want to eat or drink with your pets, you can bring them outside to Starbucks, Claddagh Irish Pub, Potbelly or Corner Bakery.

And imagine this, you can also bring your pet to shop at Wet Nose to pick out their own pet accessories.

For a list of the pet friendly stores at the mall, visit www.shopgenevacommons.com and look for the little paw print next to the store names.

The paw print will tell you where you can bring your furry friend with you shopping.

• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at randallbiz@comcast.net or (847) 894-5036.

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