Bringing the City to the Suburbs, Part 1: From Washington to Chicago

Almost two years ago, after 14 years on the East Coast, my wife Tory and I moved back to Arlington Heights. We came back primarily to raise our four small children, and to be closer to Tory's family. I drove the moving truck, which was packed to the brim with acquisitions made over the years from local artists and from our travels in the US and abroad - unique things, each with their own story. 

Finding ourselves in the land of big box stores and chains, it was really tough to find similar items with which to furnish our new home. Our choices were to go high-end and pay top dollar, or make do with mass production (and lower quality). We made countless trips into the city to find cool, funky, local shops like what we'd had in DC. It was on one of those trips that my wife had an epiphany: what if we could bring one of those funky city boutiques out here to the suburbs? And we could carry the same kinds of unique, handmade things we love! And at great prices! And we could have pony rides!

Livestock aside, this wasn’t the first time the subject of opening our own business had come up. We had both worked in the Information Technology field for most of our professional careers, and we were ready to change to something more tangible, and more artistic. Having worked at startups, both my wife and I knew a little about running a business. I attended art school for a few years and she had been studying interior design, so we at least had a basic sense of style. Finally, we had in Arlington Heights a great community and a great opportunity to contribute to a fast-growing downtown area. None of these things in any way qualified us to build a furniture and home decor business, but that’s exactly what we did. All that remained was finding a storefront, filling it with furniture from……somewhere, and figuring out the finances. And making sure someone was watching the kids. And, at least initially, keeping our day jobs. Easy, right? 

Next up: Globe-hopping.


  • I’m an Alrighton Heights native and just happened to be back in town for work. I live in Portland, OR., and the store made me feel right at home with their modern, rustic, and artistic pieces. Tory was charming and wonderful! I couldn’t be happier to bring a little piece of AH back with me! Thanks Tory!

  • You two are a match made in heaven. With your artistic, design skills and financial, marketing skills your shop should kill it in Arl. Hts. Your own home decor has always been eye popping. Kudos for taking a chance on Tory’s town she was raised in. Thanks for sharing your journey and of course Best of Luck?

    Diane Adam

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published