Keeping The Midwest Rustic Open
My name is Brianna Zahn, and I am the owner of The Midwest Rustic. I am a single mother of 3, who was laid off due to the shutdown in 2020. That is when i decided to go full-time in my passion of woodworking to support my small family. For about a year, I worked out of my home, dreaming up of beautiful store front to showcase my work as well as supporting local artists and small businesses. The beginging of 2021, I found the very storefront that I had been dreaming about. I signed the lease in Feburary, and started to search for anyone that would like to join me in this new venture. My purpose for opening The Midwest Rustic was to create a community of local artists and small businesses. I wanted to showcase all of the local goods that are available for purchase to help support small businesses like myself. So in turn, I ended up finding around 30 local artists and small businesses to help open the store. We opened April 2021, and the positive response and outpour of love was overwhelming. The downtown community was very welcoming and have been amazing neighbors. Our first year was beyond amazing, with the amazing foot traffic, to the bustling street due to City Market and Stroll on State. But then winter hit, and it hit us hard. Janurary - March, we had little no foot traffic. Our storefront was hurting significantly and so two loans were taken out to support the store during the winter months. Due to inflation, the store is still struggling and now we have an impending closure date of June 30th.
This storefront isnt just my business, its 40+ other people now. 40+ other people that create with their hands and heart, who depend on this storefront. Its a community within this store, that you cant find anywhere else in Rockford. You can walk into this store and find anything and everything from gifts, clothing for all ages, jewelry, handcrafted leather goods, linens, candles, woodworking and vinatge goods.
So, in order to keep our doors open, we are in need of at least $10,000 for past due bills and for owed pay to vendors within the store. If you are unable to help fianancially, sharing this cause would be greatly appreciated! I will be posting other ways to help on social media as well, such as attending workshops or purchasing gift cards.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and considering helping!