Shopkeeper Spotlight: Eagles' Rest Natural Home

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Eagles' Rest Natural Home

Diane Gercke, owner

Where: Lawrence, Kansas

What makes Eagles’ Rest (@eagles_rest) an abundance and gratitude MACHINE in downtown Lawrence, Kansas and a great source of aloka (and a number of our favorite home brands) in the Midwest?  We believe it has something to do with the exuberant presence and positive spirit of owner Diane Gercke, the focus of our Shopkeeper’s highlight. 

What does a great day at Eagles’ Rest look like?
Let’s start with a 10am delivery of a sofa to a sweet lady who is really excited and loves it. Setting the sofa in its new home, seeing it shine and make the space happier. Opening the store at 11, as usual. Several interactions with nice people who appreciate the store and what we do. Getting this and that task done. Somewhere in the day, having someone walk in and find the perfect whatever (couch, blanket, dining table, mattress, rug...) that they've been looking for and joyfully buying it!
Closing the store with my traditional shout of "Thank you Eagle!" and going home for dinner and cuddles on the couch with the fam (of course, under a pile of aloka quilts!)

How did Eagles’ Rest come to be?
Eagles' Rest (as in home of many eagles) started as the local organic mattress store, with two floor model Savvy Rest mattresses and not much else. Previously, I had been looking for a non-toxic mattress for my 2-year-old daughter (Sophia Jumping Eagle) and, after extensive research, had to go all the way to Denver (9 hour drive) to buy organic mattresses for my family. Obviously, there was a NEED for such a store in the midwest!
Over the years, we've added other wonderful manufacturers to our offerings, early on combining our efforts and learning from a long time local furniture store (the Blue Heron) before they retired. Eagles' Rest adopted many of the Blue Heron's favorite manufacturers and has added again when we find a product that meets our high standards.

What is your biggest challenge of keeping a shop during the winter in Lawrence, Kansas?
When ten couches arrive unannounced, during a snow or rain storm... We receive everything ourselves: most of the time right into our little delivery truck but sometimes we have to stuff it in through the back parking lot entrance into our little store. On a spring day, we get to savor the arrival of new things... in the winter: not so much!
AND keeping dirty feet and salt off of floors and amazing rugs!

What do you want people to feel when they walk into the shop?
Interest. Peace. Joy. Comfort. Abundance. Gratitude.

What is your favorite thing about having a brick and mortar shop?
Firstly, being part of the downtown Lawrence community: Massachusetts Street is our old downtown "Main St" and it is unique among all of the many places I have lived. Lawrence has never had a mall... and downtown is a thriving, very walkable place, full of local businesses: great restaurants, specialty shops, and even a family owned multistory department store. Many businesses have been in place for decades and a few over a century.
I feel like Eagles' Rest both fits right in and stands out as a very special furniture and homegoods store: attracting folks from all over the midwest. I'd say 60% of our business actually comes from the Kansas City area. It's not too far!
Locally, the Eagle has long been a gathering place in Lawrence, attracting the kindest and most wonderful people. There are countless stories of people coming in for a pillow or a bed or a couch and evolving into such GREAT FRIENDS. Truly, this little spot on the planet is an abundance and gratitude MACHINE.

You have so many choices and see so much product? Why aloka?
It's no secret that I am a textile nerd and getting a new batch of Aloka quilts is really my Christmas! Textures, quality and handmade products that last: Aloka fits right in at the Eagle. Where something comes from and who made it is really important to me and Aloka quilts are obviously made LOVINGLY by textile artists. Each aloka piece tells its own story: when you look at them up close, the time and love that goes into them is obvious and inspiring. I always tell people if they see one that speaks to them, they should take it home. Aloka pieces never stay in the shop for very long.

How do you keep the shelves fresh for customers, and exciting for you too?
I buy what I love and people seem to agree. Our floor is ever-evolving.



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