Nicole has been a lover of all elements of design ever since she can remember. Happening to marry a custom home builder gave her the ultimate opportunity to explore her talents. Her biggest accomplishment is raising their three boys who inspire her every day. Her design accolades include having a home on the luxury home tour, and being the lead designer for a small boutique in a neighboring town. Nicole hopes to inspire others with her passion for design and surround them with all things beautiful for the home and soul.
Mary has lived in Oswego for over 10 years with her husband, and her 2 teenagers. She has always been a creative soul. From early childhood she remembers drawing with her father on a chalkboard, redecorating her bedroom at least once a year, and entering art contests in school. She attended the Colorado Institute of Art to pursue her love of the arts and returned to the Midwest after graduation and landed her first job at a design studio in Chicago and then in Hinsdale. Continuing her career in the graphics industry she owned and operated a graphic design studio out of her home while raising her kids. Currently she is a partner with her friend and neighbor, Nicole, sharing her creative talents at Velvet Grace!
4025 US Highway 34
Oswego, IL 60543
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 - 5:00
Saturday 10:00 - 4:00
Closed Sunday & Monday
& major holidays
VELVET GRACE is a new retail store and creative studio located in the Village of Oswego at 4025 US Highway 34. VELVET GRACE is owned and operated by Mary Blanchflower and Nicole Menard who are both Oswego residents. After years of designing, crafting, creating, and volunteering Mary approached her friend and neighbor Nicole in August of 2014 with an opportunity to buy an existing retail store in Oswego. Together they decided that their joint vision was to create their own unique, retail store including a creative workshop … and so the journey began.
The search for the perfect location took some time. Both partners immediately agreed that they wanted to stay close and reinvest in their hometown of Oswego. Mary and Nicole researched and investigated many potential options within the Oswego limits but they kept coming back to the “Log cabins” on Highway 34. These lovely landmarks were the perfect fit for their business because of their unique appearance and location. Nestled between the hustle and bustle of box stores and the charming downtown of Oswego, VELVET GRACE’s location on Highway 34 is easy to find. Clients entering Building A, "The Velvet Grace Boutique", will find beautifully unique home décor, furniture (new and refurbished), jewelry, personal accessories, as well as unique gifts.
Building B, "The Velvet Grace Studio", provides the perfect setting to inspire clients during a variety of creative workshops. VELVET GRACE is a proud retailer of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. Annie Sloan is THE pioneer in this category of paint which is effortlessly used to refinish furniture without stripping, sanding or priming. This unique chalk paint can also be used on many other décor related items.
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