A unique new shop is heading to this summer.
Look! Shops LLC is expected to begin construction on May 1, at 991 Waterbury Falls Dr., former home of .
Co-owners Kathy Machisen and Rebecca Riegerix describe the shop as a new concept for retail.
They plan to rent smaller spaces, including shelves and large cubbies for other businesses and entrepreneurs to set up shop and sell their products.
“We consider ourselves a retail incubator,” Machisen said. “That’s our catchphrase.”
The shop is designed to sell merchandise from new start-ups, expanding, downsizing or online businesses. It also serves as a place to test new products and help the “mini-preneuer” get started.
“When we say ‘mini-preneur,’ that’s someone who maybe has a hobby and makes jewelry at home or maybe they design something and friends say they should sell them—but where do they go?” Machisen said. “So we thought, we’ll provide that place for them.”
Business owners would rent the space for a small fee and then Look! Shops would take it from there. Owners can track their progress online and receive a check once a month.
“All they have to do is come in, set it up with our help and we create this nice, unique space with their vision and our vision.” Machisen said.
She added the shop would be great for someone for example, who sells Pampered Chef products and wants to do more than home parties, or someone who is hesitant to expand their business and wants to test out their product before making that commitment.
“Sometimes it all just seems so big,” she said. “We’re that place, where you come in set up, and don’t have to worry about hiring extra staff. You can find what makes your business successful and grow.”
Riegerix said the establishment will also have space available for events and classes.
Look! Shops currently has a number of businesses onboard, but the owners said they aren’t ready to announce them until they take possession of the building in May.
They said the shop will be filled with a little something for everyone, including jewelry, fashion scarves, sunglasses, clothing, shoes, grills, tools sports gear and gourmet dips and spices.
Look! Shops: Getting Started
Machisen and Riegerix have been friends for nearly 30 years and both have business backgrounds, but this is their first time starting venturing out on their own.
They said the idea for the shop started with Machisen’s parents.
Machisen said her mom, who is 70 and lives in Florida, recently discovered beading and started making jewelry just for fun.
“They said gosh we need a place to sell and found shop in Fort Meyers and sold through there,” she said.
When she and Riegerix were sitting around one day talking, they got to thinking: why can’t we do that?
After discussing their ideas and looking at several locations, they decided to give it a try and said they thought the spot on Waterbury Falls Drive in O’Fallon would be a good fit.
Machisen, who has lived in O’Fallon since 1998, said the city is a great location and hub, with travelers from Highway 40 and 70 coming through town.
Riegerix, who lives in Arnold, agreed and added that if the shop grows, in the future, they hope to expand to the vacant spot next door.
The owners estimate they have space to accommodate 300 vendors in the shop.
Machisen said she is excited for the uniqueness of some of the products they’ll carry and called the shop a “steppingstone” for other local business.
“We want to help them grown their business large enough that they can move out on their own,” she said.
More Than A Shop
The new shop takes its name from a foundation started by the Machisen family called Look: Let’s Outfit Our Kids.
The organization helps raise money for local kids in need of clothes, shoes, school supplies, recreational equipment and more.
Machisen and Riegerix said they will donate a portion of Look! Shops proceeds to the foundation to help it grow.
“There’s another purpose outside of owning business—another ultimate goal our hearts are in,” Machisen said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May and the shop is expected to open July 1.
Look! Shops is a sponsor of the 28th annual Fire Cracker Run on Fourth of July and will have an informational booth at the event.
For more information, contact Machisen at 636-248-8280 or Riegerix at 314-591-8251.