A new shop featuring artisan products such as soaps, coffees and sauces, and some really cool artwork from local artists opened in Highland on Tuesday.
Highland Emporium is the newest addition to Highland Square and is next to Schlafly Highland Square.
Owner Carol Eckhoff said she researched the little squares in the Old Town and learned that many of them had a place to go for everything. This place was known as a variety store or store.
Eckhoff said that with the emporium, inspired in part by “It’s a Wonderful Life” (“…Merry Christmas, Emporium!”), she would be able to provide a place for local artists and artisans to sell their wares. and test their products.
Acknowledging that starting a small business isn’t easy, Eckhoff said not having a place to conduct the business and test products is a big challenge for small business owners.
She created Highland Emporium to provide this space for small businesses and local artists in and around Highland.
“We want to help small businesses grow,” Eckhoff said.
Eckhoff works with the Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as part of their navigator team. She said she helps small business owners grow their business and apply for business loans.
With the emporium, Eckhoff also offers business owners the opportunity to learn how to market themselves.
Eckhoff said they would create a video for each vendor to share on the emporium’s social media. Each artist will also be able to publish the video on their own social networks.
” Everybody wins. And it stays local,” Eckhoff said.
A quick visit
Eckhoff gave me a tour of the emporium, starting with an introduction to Artist-in-Residence Trish Dixon of Glitter Bug Designs.
Eckhoff calls Dixon her “Ace #1 Support,” and customers will often find her behind the counter, ready to help.
Dixon also has his own workshop at the back of the store. Her work includes furniture repair and refinishing, jewelry, home decor and flowers.
The first exhibit I was shown was what Eckhoff calls the “SIUE Art Section,” located in one of the store’s windows.
The space currently features unique, one-of-a-kind glass works by local artist Steve Vick, who teaches glassblowing at SIUE’s Art Department.
Eckhoff wanted to provide a space for student and faculty artists to exhibit and sell their work.
In the other window are works by Buena Vista Art. If you like steampunk (think sci-fi meets modern technology and Victorian-era machinery) and cyberpunk styles and industrial art, this stuff is for you.
Pieces in this collection include copper lamps, salvaged pipes and other machine parts, and Edison bulbs (very cool!).
There is also a variety of jewelry made from beads, metals, and vintage silver spoons.
At the back of the store is a small, separate room that features Eckhoff’s specialty: CBD products.
With a background in medical pharmacy, Eckhoff is very knowledgeable about the products and strives to overcome the stigma attached to CBD products.
She said too many people think CBD is marijuana and will get people high.
The products are made from hemp, not marijuana, which is a different variety of the same plant, according to Eckhoff. Most merchandise contains very little or no THC, which produces that “high” feeling.
And Eckhoff won’t just sell CBD products. She wants to answer people’s questions, educate them on the benefits of CBD and CBG, and recommend what might work for whatever ails them.
There are a variety of products, something for everyone, including pets, she said.
She hopes customers who buy these products will come back to share how they’ve been doing since using them. How did it work for them? Are dosage adjustments necessary?
As with any medicine, each person will react differently to the products.
“His [about] find your sweet spot,” Eckhoff said.
Other vendors and products currently on the store include:
Eckhoff said new food items — small-batch ice cream and locally raised meat products — are coming soon.
Watch the emporium’s social media for upcoming tasting events that will be added soon.
About Highland Emporium
Highland Emporium will be a lot of fun, different things, according to Eckhoff, who wants to encourage everyone to be there.
It may be the best space available for your products, she added.
Anyone interested in having a space at Highland Emporium can come to the store or contact Eckhoff through the website or Facebook page.
Highland Emporium is located at 917 Main St., Highland.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. They are closed from Sunday to Monday.
For more information, call 618-651-4061, visit https://highlandemporiumil.com/ or find them on Facebook.