Rustic small towns are known for the homey feeling you get walking through any door. Whether you’re going to the local deli for fresh bread or down the street to the florist shop for a bouquet of roses, you are greeted at every stop with a warm welcome. The folks at Primitive ‘n Proper are all about creating that same cozy vibe, selling a collection of repurposed and primitive antiques from their small store. This kind of vintage charm has its place, which is why it’s exciting to provide $500 in free promotional products to Primitive ‘n Proper through Give Your Brand a Hand.

At the heart, Give Your Brand a Hand is designed for non-profits and small businesses like Primitive ‘n Proper. This growing antique shop deserves to get its name out there, and what better way than with stylish giveaway items? Through our giveaway, any organization that makes less than $1 million in annual revenue and has fewer than 50 employees can apply for the exact same opportunity!

Home is Where the Heart Is

Family-owned since 2013, Primitive ‘n Proper sells vintage home décor with a refinished touch. Think throw pillows with floral accents, wooden clocks, plenty of greenery, and black and white photos in iron frames.  This furniture is all found through old-fashioned thrifting, whether it’s online, from garage sales, or customers bringing in items they no longer need. Many of these pieces are repurposed and sold in the store. However, there’s also a nice mix of more modern, retail pieces to fit anybody’s personal taste.

Primitive 'n Proper Furniture
Primitive ‘n Proper sells refinished antiques and original pieces that put the heart in any home. Visit them in Machesney Park, IL.

All in the Family

Stephen King, owner of Primitive ‘n Proper, has always had a love for repurposing old pieces. It started as a hobby, hitting the garage sales on the weekends and finding one-of-a-kind antiques. Eventually, his passion for collecting turned into a full-blown career. Much of this push came directly from his parents, namely his father who was tired of having his garage taken over by Stephen’s collection. In fact, he was so unhappy about the clutter he shelled out enough money to rent a storefront in Rockford, Illinois. Like it or not, Stephen was going into business!

“You lose a lot of personal life, but you have to be dedicated and know that it’s worth doing.” – Stephen King, Owner of Primitive ‘n Proper

The doors opened in 2013 on the second floor of an old Victorian rental on the river in Rockford. Stephen and his mother ran the shop in between full-time jobs. As the business grew, Stephen was able to leave behind his retail job and focus solely on running his new business, eventually moving into a brick-and-mortar storefront in Machesney Park. To make ends meet at this new location, Stephen lived on the second floor above the store. He would wake up, get right to work, and sacrifice any free time in the process. However, all of this hard work was worth the end result. In fact, just this past year the store was runner up for the best antique shop in the Rockford area.

Make the Space Your Own

We became legitimate. People will see our logo and immediately know who we are.” – Stephen

After much deliberation, Stephen and his mother were able to agree upon a signature logo for the store just this year. They couldn’t agree upon the design, since both agreed that a logo is a valuable addition to any business.

The distinct Primitive ‘n Proper logo is inspired by the rustic letters that grace the front of their cash register. The thought behind it was to keep the design simple, classic, and rustic, just like the furniture found in the antique shop.

Bring in the Promos

The timing for receiving these promotional products could not be better. Their new logo will grace the front of their jute tote bags and personalized aprons. Both of these promotional products will be welcome additions for frequent shoppers and may even warrant some kind of discount in the store. Shoppers can fill their tote bags with vintage home decor and use them again outside of the shop. Whether they bring them along for a day at the beach or use them to carry groceries, these stylish bags are a fun alternative to traditional plastic options. Not to mention, they are a lot better for the environment.

Primitive 'n Proper Jute Tote Bags
Primitive 'n Proper Aprons

Plans to expand go beyond just a new logo design. Stephen and his family are also busy putting together workshops that will be open to the public. People can come in and learn how to paint and repurpose their own furniture, wearing branded aprons during the process. There will also be Make and Paint events, which will work like the adult version of arts and crafts.

“You’re creating your brand and making it recognizable to everybody. That’s such an important step as a business owner.” – Stephen

For Stephen, it’s important to share his passion with the community and keep the store running. Inviting people to check out Primitive ‘n Proper during workshops or to carry the jute bag outside of the store encourages a new group of customers. As a completely family-operated business, traveling to shows means closing down for the day.  Ultimately, it makes more sense to keep it in the family and stay close to home.

Are you a small business owner like Stephen looking for a break? Tell us your story at Every month, we choose a new recipient for a free order of promotional materials.

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