Finding Treasures at The Pink Geranium

Businesses Around Town
December 18, 2015

“I’m glad you found some treasures.” This simple parting statement from Kathie Perkins, one of the three owners at The Pink Geranium & Co, encapsulates everything that the store represents.

Perkins, along with Karin Cummings and Diane McKillen, have created a welcoming atmosphere within the space that has an inventory just as eclectic as each of their personalities. Offering everything from antiques to art collections, The Pink Geranium & Co. also gives customers the opportunity to create their own treasures through artist and author workshops.

Living60010 sat down with Perkins to talk about the shop and its friendly following.

Living60010: When did you first become interested in antiquing and vintage collection?

Kathie Perkins: I’ve actually been doing it my whole life. I was living in Highland Park at the time and used to sell items at the Grayslake Flea Market. Well, one of the other owners Karen (Cummings) was a regular customer. One time we struck up a conversation and I asked her where her store was located. When she said Barrington, I had no idea where that was. This was her old shop before starting the Pink Geranium, which was actually located where we are right now. She eventually opened the Pink Geranium in town and I started working there part time after I moved here. When one of her partners retired, I was promoted up and then we relocated to our current location.

Living60010: When did the Pink Geranium first open?

Kathie Perkins: We’ve been at our current location for just over a year now. We were on Lageschulte Street before for about four years. It’s really fun to be in this building now.

Living60010: How did you come up with the name?

Kathie Perkins: Karen was taking a picture of a pink geranium plant in the window of our old store before the grand opening, intending to use the photograph on a business card. She actually liked it so much that that she decided to name the shop “The Pink Geranium”. After she added Diane (McKillen) and me as partners, it became “The Pink Geranium & Co.”

Living60010: How does this incredibly diverse inventory make it into your store?

Kathie Perkins: We only have a few items that we order. The majority of our inventory comes from people around the area looking to offer up their items for resale. I also travel a decent amount and pick up anything that looks interesting to me. All three of us have such different tastes so that’s what makes the store so eclectic.

Living60010: Do you have local artists come in and showcase work?

Kathie Perkins: We do! We have some jewelry vendors and a woman, who also does photography for all of our websites and brochures, showcases her artistic work here. In store book signings and artist workshops have become very popular here as well.

Living60010: What other events do you have coming up?

Kathie Perkins: We will be having extended shopping hours the first three Thursdays of December. Normally, we close at 4:00 PM, but we’ll stay open until 7:00 PM and serve appetizers. Our biggest event of the year is the Spring Market, which happens in May. Eight other resale shops and ourselves set up vendors in a designated parking lot on the day of the event.

Living60010: Tell me a little bit about your blog

Kathie Perkins: It’s so much fun. My sister has actually been taking pictures of certain customer’s homes and showcasing the decorating they’ve done with our items. It’s nice to see that what we sell becomes part of the charm someone’s home.

Living60010: If you were to describe your store in three words, what would they be?

Kathie Perkins: Eclectic, reasonable, and friendly. We seem to be on a first name basis with all of our customers and they quickly become our friends.

Living60010: Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?

Kathie Perkins: We want to offer more classes at night and keep adding to our already expansive inventory.

Living60010: How has being located in Barrington influenced the way you run your business?

Kathie Perkins: People are friendly here and we’ve never really had anyone complain, so that only adds to the inviting atmosphere we try to foster. You really get to know your customers

Living60010: What is your favorite thing to do in Barrington?

Kathie Perkins: There are great restaurants in the area. I’m especially partial to Baloney’s and the Catlow Theater because we have a commercial running there. I also try to take advantage of the library and all the classes it has to offer.

Living60010: How has your relationship been like with Barrington Bank & Trust?

Kathie Perkins: They’re the best. They walked us through moving stores and are incredibly friendly. We’ve definitely taken advantage of their business display inside the bank.


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