Visit our Facebook page for the latest news and events!
by Kim Mikus
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2002 in the Daily World
Did you know that there are 18 different kinds of penguins? the aquatic birds can't fly and they're very sneaky.
Penguins are also the theme of the newest store at several local malls.
The Painted Penguin, a paint-it-yourself ceramics store, launched its newest location at Stratford Square in Bloomingdale last week. The shop, catering to children, opened at Hawthorn Center in Vernon Hills earlier this month and at Fox Valley Center in Aurora five months ago.
Shoppers say Painted Penguin is a spot to hold children's birthday parties, scouting events, and even adult gatherings.
The entertainment venue sporting the snazzy name is a hit. More than 30 parties were booked during the first week at the Stratford store, said Dave Emerson, general manager at Painted Penguin.
Penguin facts are placed around the store to read as children and parents look around while getting their creative juices flowing. The store has about 3,500 decorative pottery pieces to choose from ranging in price from $5 to $100. Teddy bears, dragons, cats and dogs, fairies and Bart Simpson are popular picks for painting.
After the painting process is complete, children watch as glaze is sprayed onto their creations in an igloo-shaped room that continues the penguin theme.
The artists can take their artwork home the same day because it doesn't have to be baked.
Mike Nasatir of Highland Park created the concept. The commodities trader at the chicago Board of Tracde hopes to grow the business as bis as another do-it-yourself retailer - Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy bear-themed experience store that combines the universal appeal of plush animals with an interactive process that allows children to create their own huggable companions.
The business man says that his daughters, ages 7 and 10, are the inspiration behind the new painting concept. The 42-year-old father was searching for ways to spend "special" time with his kids.
He came across a ceramics store, put a twist on it and created the mall venue with Emerson's help.
Nasatir enjoys the Painted Penguin concept because customers aren't rushed through the painting process. They are not charged by how long it takes them to paint. "Customers aren't on the clock. I'm concentrating on creating a fun, relaxing atmosphere," Nasatir said.
Store employees, usually trained artists, work to assist the young painters in creating their works of art.
More for Mother's Day: Shoppers plan to spend more on mom this year.
A recent National Retail Federation survey shows that consumers plan to spend an average of $97 per household on Mother's Day gifts this year, a 36 percent increase over 2001 when the average was $62.
Although the vast majority of consumers will still give Mom greeting cards and glowers, the survey revealed that jewelry is making a comeback.
Back to Home