St. Charles resident keeping busy this holiday season making handcrafted Christmas gifts
Just like Santa Claus, artist and business owner Julie Norkus has been busy getting ready for Christmas.
But her workshop is located at Trend + Relic in St. Charles, not the North Pole.
"Starting in September, it's all hands on deck," said Norkus, who owns Fragments, which sells creatively curated goods.
The business features her paintings placed on a variety of home goods as well as other items. The St. Charles resident is a vendor at Trend + Relic, located at 1501 Indiana Ave. in St. Charles. She is one of the 50 vendors at the store.
Her art is featured on products ranging from pillow covers to tea towels.
"Some things lend themselves to certain items," Norkus said. "I have everything that I've ever painted on a file on my computer."
One of her most popular items this Christmas season has been an ornament that says, "Every Journey leads me Home." She will then personalize each ornament.
"I think I've done about 150 of them now," Norkus said. "I hand paint people's towns or their last names on them."
She sells seasonal items.
"Once Christmas is over, anything Christmas-related will come out of here, and then I'll bring back some spring and summer stuff that I had in here," Norkus said. "I also have a whole line of fall products. I'm coming up with a few new designs. You have to reinvent yourself constantly because styles change."
Painting landscapes is one of her specialties.
"I paint what comes naturally to me," she said.
Norkus, who grew up in Batavia, has an interior design degree. Before starting her business, she was a project manager for a commercial design company.
"When you have a creative wheel in your head, you just can't stop," Norkus said in talking about why she started her business.
Her 22-year-old daughter, Paige, is following in her footsteps. She knits and has been selling her items alongside her mom's at Trend + Relic.
"She did pumpkins in the fall, and then she had scarves and beanies and Santa hats," Norkus said. "I let her use part of my space to sell out of, and I told her that if she had enough products, she could perhaps get her own space here."
She is proud of her daughter's efforts.
"She sees me constantly coming up with new ideas, and I see her doing the same thing," Norkus said. "She is designing her own logo for her business. That's where her and I have connected on that level."
More information about Fragments is at Norkus' website, julienorkus.com. She also has a Facebook page, facebook.com/julienorkusfragments.