Shops on Sterling businesses share rent and utility costs

Shops on Sterling, originally called Gypsy Fix and Co., was started in 2021 by Morgan Sullins, owner of the clothing and accessories shop Gypsy Fix.

Sullins said Shops on Sterling has never had empty storefronts because they’re always immediately filled up. There’s currently a waitlist for more businesses to open in the Shops, Sullins said.

Morgan Sullins at her shop, Gypsy Fix. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Before Shops on Sterling moved in, the building on the northwest corner of Flossmoor Road and Sterling Avenue was empty.

It’s now home to nine small businesses: Alison Turner Nail Studio, D’s Cookie Dough Co., GCA Unlimited, Gypsy Fix, Kathy’s Creams & Things, Oxford Art Exchange, Product Freak, Ruby Ella Sweets and Wired: The Design Boutique.


Sullins said she initially moved Gypsy Fix to this new location because she needed a bigger space. But because it was too big of a space, she decided to involve other businesses who could share rent and utility costs.

“I wanted a bigger space and this place had been empty for two years. But 5,200 square feet was too much for just me,” Sullins said. “I finally got the owner of the building to agree to subdivide so that I could take this space. But then he countered with, ‘OK, I’ll subdivide but you have to develop and manage the remainder of the space.’”

After the rest of the building was divided into other store spaces, Sullins said she used social media and the Flossmoor Business Association to find small business owners to fill them.

“If they hadn’t divided it into these smaller places where the rent was affordable for small business people, then people wouldn’t have taken the chance to open up a business,” said Flossmoor Business Association President Maureen Mader.

“Flossmoor used to have such an artsy shopping feel to it. And then it was nothing for a long time,” Sullins said. “The whole goal was to try and bring more retail in here and that’s just what we’ve done over the last 3 years.”

Sullins said that taking on this project was a challenge at first because there was nothing else like Shops on Sterling in Flossmoor.

“Initially, everyone had to sign a year lease. This was never meant to be a quick turnover or a pop-up,” Sullins said, adding that she thinks this is a “common misconception” when people find out about the Shops.

The original name was Gypsy Fix and Co. Sullins said the business owners had a meeting and voted to change the name to Shops on Sterling.

They didn’t want the community to confuse it as “one big store” rather than a series of shops, Sullins said.

“They wanted to keep [the name] as basic and forward as they could,” Sullins said. “They wanted to make sure people understood it.”

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