SaraBoo Creek

September 2017 View more

In a time when businesses are struggling to keep their brick-and-mortar stores open, SaraBoo Creek is celebrating two anniversaries: ten years in downtown Naperville and fifteen years in Crest Hill. Owner Cindy Crawford began selling her unique wood product line at craft shows twenty-three years ago and has since built a successful business where employees and customers alike feel like family.

What inspired you to launch SaraBoo Creek?
Back when I had my first child, I was teaching history at College of DuPage and wanted to find something to supplement my income. My mom had just started selling antiques so I decided to help her at the first few markets she attended. I absolutely loved it. I began selling birdhouses and yard ornaments at art and craft fairs and the business grew from there. By the time I had my second child, I was working thirty-five shows a year and hiring people to help me create the line. I needed to find a space to house my growing business and ultimately found a charming Cape Cod with an attached studio in Crest Hill. We moved our workshop there and that became our first store. Five years later I jumped on the opportunity to open a second store in downtown Naperville.

What is the story behind the store’s name?
Sara is for my daughter and Boo is my son Patrick. Because I was traveling so often to different shows, I wanted the name to evoke a permanent place—so I chose SaraBoo Creek.

What differentiates SaraBoo Creek from other gift shops?
First and foremost, our customizable wood product line is unique to our store. Many people don’t realize that each piece is actually designed, cut and handcrafted from raw materials right in our Crest Hill workshop. Everything is made locally. We hand mix every paint color and every bit of glitter. We spend countless hours getting the color schemes and details just right. A lot of attention and love goes into each piece. After customers design their sign or frame and we glue it down, they walk out of the store with a completed product ready to display. It’s a very creative and social activity.

In addition to our SaraBoo merchandise, we have an extensive selection of other home decor, gift and jewelry lines, such as Nora Fleming, Vera Bradley, Tyler Candles and Gretchen clipboard frames, to name a few. I love each of the other lines we carry. They add a wonderful variety and depth to the business.

What are you most proud of when you reflect back?
I’m proud that I’ve actually been able to run a successful retail business for twenty-three years. It hasn’t always been easy. During the recession I had to really focus on what products sold and which didn’t. We get so much inspiration from our customers and base a lot of our designs on their requests.

I am also proud that we create unique products that people love. We put our hearts into our designs. Our customers then use their talents to create the perfect sign to frame to commemorate a special moment in their lives. We get to forever be a part of that celebration.

Really, what I am the most proud of though is the amazing team I work with. We’re like a family. Some ladies have been with me since the start. I love that I’ve created a business where I can offer jobs to gals like me who want to supplement their income without sacrificing their family time.

SaraBoo Creek Naperville
107 West Jefferson Avenue

SaraBoo Creek Crest Hill
2313 Plainfield Road (Route 30)