We are just two broke girls trying to make a dream come true. It has been laid on our hearts for quite some time to start Southern Illinois Mercantile Company. From the very beginning God has given us a vision far beyond our bank account. Unlike a traditional career endeavor we don't plan to get rich, from a monetary stand point at least. We figure slow and steady wins the race, that is exactly what we have set our sights on. Winning our race.
When our friendship started a few years ago it appeared we were very different people. One was a stay at home mother and educator, the other was pursuing a path in accounting and business. One had relocated from the largest metropolitan area of Texas and the other hadn't ventured far from her home county. However, as our friendship has progressed we find we "are cut from the same cloth." We are twins separated by time. It didn't take long for our friendship to turn framily [Friend-Family]. It didn't take long for one of us to have a mad fit and the other one to shout, just stop it now. Nor did it take long for arms to reach out in love and acceptance when one of us had lost their mind. We laugh, we cry, yell and throw fits. Most importantly "we don't work, we make messes." We love and show acceptance and dream as big as the eye can see. We jump in faith and pray that God leads us some place great.
Our journey in business has been quite the ride, one filled with tears and frustration, confusion and even chaos. We have questioned our decision to start and continue. We have felt guilty for investing all our time in this vision. We have doubted and threatened to quit, but the one thing that has held us together is the bond at which God has created between the two of us.
When Covid happened, the world virtually stopped. During our few months of shut down, we listened intently for what God wanted us to do next. We never would've imagined what he was calling us into for the next chapter at the Merc. Since then things have been a whirl wind. We have had to let go of aspects of our business we thought was vitally important to our success only to find that trusting God would prepare for a catapult into the vision he originally gave us.
Three grandkids later, a baby now driving, and two twins growing faster than any of us care to like we find ourselves again in a new season of life, a new season at the Merc. We have welcomed neighbors to our Downtown area and are watching the fruits of our overwhelmingly, tireless labor start to flourish. We would be crazy if we said we know what God is doing, but we still don't. What we do know is that we continue to do what he has called us to do and even on the hard days we show up. We have learned he is working even if we don't feel it and he has NEVER left us.
Our vision is to show you that life is so much more, to visit with you and extend a hand when you need it, to keep God first in all our mess. We strive to create a welcoming atmosphere, filled with laughter and conversation. Things are constantly changing with us and we want nothing more than for you to be apart of that change. We see a future where you don't just want to shop but want to come hear what we've gotten ourselves into. We see a future where you don’t just want to stop and grab ice cream, but you want to sit and play checkers or meet with friends to make memories. We want to extend our friendship and to let God's grace pour out to you. We think once you walk this journey with us you will understand that you hold the keys to unlocking so much more in life.
So browse around or drop us a line. We wish you well and pray that God blesses you.
With all our love,
Tanie & Ellen
Owners, Operators, Vision Extraordinaires