By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The closure of one downtown business is giving another room to grow.
510 Threads owner Sandi Kohn said Wednesday that she’s retiring from the retail business and closing her vintage modern fashion boutique at 510 E. State St. in downtown’s Block 5.
The storefront won’t be empty. Instead, Salvaged by Sonya is moving its retro and vintage home and garden shop into a space that’s more than double the size of its previous home a few blocks west on State Street.
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Sonya Dowdakin closed her shop at 330 E. State St. at the end of 2022, and she plans to open in the new space in April.
“We get the space in March, but we’re going to definitely need time to fill it up with treasures and really think about what else we can do in that space,” Dowdakin said.
The roughly 4,000-square-foot space will allow Dowdakin to hold special events and other activities she couldn’t before. She’ll also be able to fill the space with more vintage merchandise and designer furniture from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.
“I had been looking for a larger space for probably about eight, nine months,” Dowdakin said. “I never found the right location. I think with my heart still in downtown Rockford, I couldn’t really commit to anything outside of the downtown area even though I found spaces large enough.”
Dowdakin had been in her previous downtown space since 2014, and before that she spent about three years on First Street.
“I’m just thrilled to be part of Block 5,” she said of the move.
Eurostyle+, which is located on the north side of 510 E. State St., will be relocating after Salvaged by Sonya takes over the entire ground floor space. Eurostyle+ plans to move to the Edgebrook shopping center.
Kohn’s primary business venture is graphic design as the co-owner and creative director of MedicineMan Creative. She also manages two stylish loft Airbnb’s accented with fixtures from local artists above 510 E. State St., a building she has owned for 23 years. But she felt stretched too thin from the various ventures and decided to leave the retail business.
“I need a smaller footprint. I need more vacations. More family time,” Kohn said. “This is me retiring from retail. … I really, really enjoyed it. But I’m ready to enjoy something new.”
One of those new things could be creating an art gallery in the loft space above 510. She’s in the early stages of those plans.
510 Threads had operated downtown since 2015. Previously it was occupied by another retail shop, Minglewood, and had been home to salons before that. Closing sales will be running at the store through mid-February.
“We had a good run. We had fun,” Kohn said. “We had lots of parties and fashion shows and fundraisers, and we brought retail to downtown in a really good and positive way.”
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Kohn said she’s excited to see what Salvaged by Sonya will do with the space.
“She just has an interesting offering and a lot of people really like her store, and she has a huge following,” Kohn said. “We’re losing one business but we’re going to get this really great store in return.”