In 2010, Willow & Birch opened in Springfield as a full-service salon and has grown over the years, adding additional spa services and a boutique. Owner Jessica Kocurek is now expanding again, this time with a second boutique location in Taylorville.
“I’m from Edinburg, and in 2006 I started as a hairdresser in Taylorville, just five doors down from where this location is going to be,” said Kocurek.
She said one of her good friends owns a store on the square in Taylorville, and this summer Kocurek took part in Journey in July, a coordinated effort to encourage people to shop at independently owned home décor and apparel stores. Many of the people she ran into from her hometown told her how much they loved her merchandise, but rarely made the trip to Springfield.
“My mother-in-law owned a bridal store on the square and wanted to sell it,” Kocurek said, which gave her the idea to open another boutique location. Uprooted by Willow & Birch will be located at 103 S. Washington in the space formerly occupied by Bella Amore.
When the governor’s stay-at-home orders forced her to close in the spring, Kocurek shifted all of the boutique inventory online. However, it presented a challenge once the physical location reopened since customers would sometimes order a product online but it would be sold through the retail store before the order could be fulfilled.
“It’s going to streamline the back end operations for us a lot,” said Kocurek, noting that all of the online boutique inventory will be handled out of the Taylorville location and salon products will be sold through a separate website. “We’re also adding kids’ clothing, books, gifts and home décor,” she said.
Uprooted by Willow & Birch will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, and Kocurek said she is hiring several additional part-time employees to help staff the new location. She is in the process of renovating the space and plans to be open Oct. 3.
“It sounds like a lot, but it’s going to be much less of a headache,” she said of the planned expansion.