Q&A with Edie Boutique owner Amy DeGrazio about Marigold, her new Park Ridge gift shop
By Trent Modglin
The highly-anticipated Marigold opened its doors this fall, courtesy of Amy DeGrazio, who owns the popular Edie Boutique next door (and seven others from Milwaukee to Glen Ellyn). The Park Ridge Marigold, selling home decor and gifts, is her second, with the first located in downtown Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
The Real Park Ridge: How long have you been thinking about Marigold and where did the idea come from?
DeGrazio: In 2015, we opened our first Edie women’s clothing boutique in Lake Geneva. Oddly, if Lake Geneva had not been first, there may have never been eight as of today. My husband and I had owned and operated several retail stores prior to Edie, but we had never had a store in a resort area. We opened in May of 2015, and due to its success, we opened another Edie every six months. We now have eight locations.
In 2018, a storefront three spots down from Edie in Lake Geneva was available and, being slightly competitive, I told the landlord that I wanted it before I actually knew what I would do with it.
My husband said, “Amy, what are you going to put in it?” I said: “I will figure something out.”
After several weeks of tossing ideas around, we landed on Marigold! Edie was my grandmother and marigolds were her favorite flower.
Marigold in Lake Geneva has gotten so much positive feedback in the past two summers, we thought if we were ever to do another, Park Ridge would be it. I am born and raised in Park Ridge and have had several retail operations in Park Ridge since 1996.
The response has been truly beyond our expectations. It is a bright, white, clean-looking store. It’s both elegant and affordable. I often hear people walk in and say, “Wow, this is a happy place!” Such a wonderful compliment in a dismal year for retail with COVID 19.
The Real Park Ridge: How nice was it to be able to open right next to Edie?
DeGrazio: Dick Pond announced earlier this year that they wanted to move to the Village Green and have a parking lot. Tom and I realized this would be our one and only opportunity to have Marigold in Park Ridge right next to our Edie.
We talked to the landlord and asked if he would allow us to arch through and connect both stores to each other. He said yes, the city engineer said yes, and we said yes!
It is truly a dream come true to have our flagship Edie/Marigold in Park Ridge.
The Real Park Ridge: How has the reaction been so far? Everyone seems to be raving about it.
DeGrazio: The response has been truly beyond our expectations. It is a bright, white, clean-looking store. It’s both elegant and affordable. I often hear people walk in and say, “Wow, this is a happy place!” Such a wonderful compliment in a dismal year for retail with COVID 19.
The Real Park Ridge: What items can people expect to find in the store?
DeGrazio: Marigold carries home decor, seasonal gifts, candles, wall art, pillows and our most unique feature is our flower bar!
Our flower bar carries wonderful silk flowers of all colors and varieties. Marigold has a florist on hand every Tuesday and Thursday and will customize vases and centerpieces for your home. You can even bring in a vase from home that you no longer know what to do with. Our flower bar has been a huge hit at Marigold.
Our flower bar carries wonderful silk flowers of all colors and varieties. Marigold has a florist on hand every Tuesday and Thursday and will customize vases and centerpieces for your home.
The Real Park Ridge: You’ve created quite a collection of popular stores. What’s next for you?
DeGrazio: What’s next for me? There is a loaded question! Tom and I own 10 stores now, opening two this year during the pandemic. I call it an unforced error — we signed two leases on March 1 of 2020 when all in the world was wonderful.
By March 17, I was convinced that my entire retail career was flushing itself down the toilet. Every restaurant owner and small business owner felt the exact same way.
It looks like, with no further shutdowns, we will make it. We may choose to downsize a few locations as our leases come due for renewal, but we are here to stay in Park Ridge for the next 10 years!
Every time I say we are done opening up more stores I seem to made a liar! Tom says he doesn’t believe a thing I say. If I were 35 years old, the sky would be the limit, but at 50 years old, 10 stores is a good number. I’m unbelievably proud of what we have created, and I love what I do. Quite lucky I’d say!
Marigold is located at 29 S. Prospect. 224-985-3135. ShopEdie.com