Two longtime friends and neighbors are combining their talents at a joint business venture in downtown Flossmoor.
Vicki Burke Stevenson and Morgan Sullins have worked together for years. Stevenson, a realtor, has turned to Sullins numerous times as a staging expert during the home sales process. By making subtle changes to home décor, Sullins has made homes more attractive to potential buyers.
Stevenson’s business, HF Homes, takes up the front of the space at 1044 Sterling Avenue with a table and chairs right inside a window overlooking Flossmoor’s Metra station.
Gypsy Fix, Sullins’ store, fills the rear of the space with home décor items. There are framed sayings about life’s journey – many are from song lyrics. There is furniture that Mullins has refinished. There are paintings and mirrors and charming odds and ends.
“It’s almost like a revolving showroom,” Sullins says. ”Everything is for sale.”
In the months to come, she plans to get local artists to make their paintings, sculptures and multi-media work available for sale at Gyspy Fix.
“We have a lot of artists in our communities,” she said. “They are excited about putting their work on display in our shop.”
Sullins and Stevenson are enthusiastic about the possibilities of a business in downtown Flossmoor that both attracts customers and shows off the town’s potential for future growth.
Sharing a space shows what can be accomplished by a collaborative effort to promote the community, said Stevenson’s husband, Ryan, her partner at HF Homes.
Vicki Stevenson recently gave a visitor a tour of the business. The painting had just been completed and all the items on the walls had been hung earlier that day. Stevenson pointed out a basement workshop where Sullins makes many of the items that are for sale at Gypsy Fix.
Stevenson said it’s only been a couple of months since she and Sullins decided to open the store and real estate office.
Coldwell Banker, for years at the corner of Sterling and Flossmoor Road, had planned to leave Flossmoor at the end of 2019 but vacated its badly-damaged offices following the disastrous flood in the downtown area last September. Stevenson previously sold real estate through Coldwell Banker. Sales for HF Homes are now brokered through eXp Realty, a national firm that does not rely on brick and mortar offices.
Still, Stevenson wanted to have a visible presence in the communities where HF Homes does 90 percent of its business. She asked the owner of the building on the west side of Sterling to let her know when there was a vacancy. When she got that call, everything started to fall into place.
“Once that happened, I jumped on it,” Stevenson said. “And that’s when I reached out to Morgan.” She said Sullins has “a great design eye” and would “bring her vision” to the space.
‘I loved the idea right away.” Sullins said. “If you can share a space, starting a business is not such a scary undertaking.”
Stevenson said she has been bringing clients to the space for weeks, even before decorating at the storefront was completed. They are always pleased by what they see, she said.
“This is what sells Flossmoor,” she said. “There’s a warm feeling you get when you look out our window and see the life of this town in front of you. We knew this space was great for visibility.
“We wanted to show our commitment to the community. Our lives are here. Our kids are here. Our passion is here.”