Art with Character 5

‘Whimsical’ Epilogue brings 
unique items to Long Grove

Approaching Epilogue, I already sensed its whimsical nature with a multitude of wind sculptures dancing on the breeze and flowers blooming everywhere. Upon entering the quaint building, I was hit with a wall of delicious smells, colors and textures. Being an avid art lover, I was immediately drawn to the well-placed nooks and displays that were clearly put together with care. With so much character and love exuding, I was eager to know the story behind this store.

It is hard to believe that Epilogue opened just two years ago. Born of a lifelong love of the arts, owner Rachel Perkal opened this store as a culmination of her experiences with both Long Grove and the art world.

She has been very involved with the Long Grove community, first becoming involved in the management of the downtown area. For 10 years, Rachel served the Long Grove Business & Community Partners organization and had a few local businesses herself. In her professional life, even when working with corporations, the arts were always involved somehow.

Relationships are one of the elements of Epilogue’s success. Rachel has instilled her passion for their importance into her employees and the framework of her store. Customers are welcomed in like old friends and family, often becoming part of the Epilogue community. Good relationships are also important to her when it comes to the artists whose work she carries. Every item in the store is a work of art that has a story. Rachel must have a connection with the artists to feel excited about selling the art, which will pass on to whoever takes the piece home.

Respect and love are embedded in the way Rachel runs her store—another part of what brings her success. Her beliefs align with the ‘old-school’ mindset of customer service is king. There are not many stores that go above and beyond with customer service anymore. At Epilogue they will do things such as offering complimentary gift-wrapping. Each time it will be done with care because it is a reflection on the store and the person who is giving the gift. Taking pride in the little elements and details is the key. Rachel believes her attitude of gratitude for art and the people who make an effort to support locally-owned businesses is an essential element of Epilogue’s success as well. She truly values facilitating someone finding something that speaks to them and helps to express their spirit.

During the holiday seasons, Epilogue is dressed beautifully. But it isn’t the place to buy wreaths, crafted Santas and holly; rather, Rachel’s focus is on supplying those special gifts for any person or budget. Whether it is a $10 gift or a $10,000 gift, there are beautiful options that can fulfill a customer’s needs. Customers can take pride in the fact that 90 percent of the items in the store are American-made from many different states. As another act of gratitude for their support, she wants to be able to offer items locally that people would not be able to find elsewhere.

There are so many different types of gifts that you can find something for anyone. On a walk through the store, Rachel highlighted a few items that are perfect examples of great holiday gifts. There is an artist named Lizzy James who makes simple and sleek bracelets that can double as a necklace. They come in all kinds of wonderful colors of leather and have silver adornments that can be dressed up or down. Her pieces range from $59-$99.

Another great item is the well-known Lampe Berger Scent Diffuser. It is beautifully crafted, and the scents are the amazing aroma you smell as soon as you enter the store. Even better, the fragrances are designed to eliminate offensive odors instead of just masking them. The scent diffusers also help remove the germs in the air, making them ideal for cold and flu season. The diffusers range from $32-$199.

Last, but absolutely not least, are the wondrous wind sculptures made by Lyman Whitaker. He has been sculpting for 40 years, and they are incredibly crafted. They make for a unique and whimsical gift that can be passed down for generations. Lyman’s creations can cost $600-$10,000.