Made In Chicago: The Gnome Colony

Jennifer Keiper
June 03, 2019 - 7:05 am

Jennifer Keiper/WBBM

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GLEN ELLYN (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Gnome Colony is a boutique featuring baubles, trinkets and more. So why the name?

"Gnomes are little creators of whimsy and magic," said owner Michael Perich. "Colony, to me, means friendship, together, community.  So you have a magical place where women can come together, under one roof, and pretty much unite."

And the store's slogan: "The world needs more love, whimsy and wishes is what it needs."

Vanessa Stang visited the store with three friends and left with magnets.

"I got these really cute gnome socks and then I got some really fun birthday cards because I'm obsessed with having a stash of birthday cards," Stang said.

Mixed-in with those items are the works of local artisans. Perich said women need to be applauded. 

"They need a platform and especially with a point-and-click society that we are where it's like, Amazon and this and that — nothing is kind of unique anymore.  I am proud of the fact that I get to showcase local women who are chasing their passions and trying to make a business out of that," Perich said.

Among some of the hand-made items he has featured is a local brand called BUTTONista, who also sells its products in Dallas. Perich said its industry strength magnetic broaches can be used for a jacket, a shawl, cardigan closure and more.

The Gnome Colony Company sells a variety of local products made in the area, supporting local businesses that create unique gifts and house items. (Jennifer Keiper/WBBM)

"Especially if someone has any kind of neuropathy in their fingertips, you don't have to worry about putting a pin through the shirt or the jacket," he said.

Perich, who is also a makeup artist, sells his namesake skincare and cosmetics line in-house and online and also donates a portion of his sales to a different local charity every month.

The Gnome Colony Company, with its wide variety of trinkets, local boutique products and yoga accessories, is home to many local businesses, some of which are based in Chicago.

A cozy backroom features dim lighting and hanging vines to sit and relax. (Jennifer Keiper/WBBM)

Owner Michael Perich sells his own cosmetic line in-store. (Jennifer Keiper/WBBM)

The store also has clothes, jewelry and scarves. (Jennifer Keiper/WBBM)