La Grange location boosts artists jewelry sales
Maureen Fagan, owner of Simple Treasures in La Grange, specializes in homemade items and jewelry. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Name: Simple Treasure
Address: 15 1/2 S. La Grange Road, La Grange
Owner: Maureen Fagan
Specialty: Handcrafted jewelry and accessories
Phone: (708) 588-8298
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:09AM
LA GRANGE — Step into the Simple Treasure boutique and you’ll see shabby chic and vintage style melding into a sparkling world of jewelry and accessories.
The cozy little shop boasts an impressive mix of casual and couture handcrafted items, including necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, hair pieces, scarves, purses, decorative pillows and clothing. Bold, contemporary designs are featured along with delicately beaded pieces.
“I want everything to be as handmade as possible,” said owner Maureen Fagan, an artist and metalsmith who dedicates about 60 hours a week to her craft.
The store showcases collections of sterling silver and beaded designs as well as accessories for weddings. Although the majority of items are made by Fagan, she also sells some pieces made by friends. Prices range from $3 for a hair clip to about $400 for an intricately beaded bib necklace.
“If you want something a little more unique, or if you see something in another store but want it with a different beading or, say, a little shorter, you can come in here and I can make it for you,” she said.
Fagan, a Palos Heights resident and mother of two, said she has always enjoyed painting, sewing and sculpting. As her children got older, she had more time to pursue her passion of jewelry design. She learned soldering techniques from a friend, took art classes and researched jewelry-making trends and tips.
Fagan founded Simple Treasure in 2001, selling her creations via home parties and art shows. Since opening her La Grange store two and a half years ago, her sales have doubled.
Fagan attributes much of her business’ success to word-of-mouth advertising and a location in the heart of downtown La Grange.
She also said the Rolodex file she develops with each of her female clients is a big draw for boyfriends or husbands. The file lists each customer’s ring size, color preferences and items they like in the store.
They are so happy shopping here because they really want to make their wife or girlfriend happy but they don’t want to spend hours shopping in a store trying to find the perfect gift,” Fagan said.
Fagan’s son is her photographer and manages her two websites, and her husband helps out when she needs an extra hand.
She gets her inspiration for her jewelry designs from nature, fashion and anywhere she spots an interesting combination of color and shapes.
“I really like to follow trends, but they are not all going to appeal to everyone in the store,” she said. “You have to cater to everybody. And sometimes I just make things because it is something that I myself really like.”