January 2018, almost 5 years ago, my wife Kristen and I bought this abandoned building in Hillsboro, IL. I’m not sure I could have imagined the amount of work it would take to get here, between loans, stress, dirt, dumpsters of debris, lots of hard work, donations of building materials and help from lots of […]
Read More A little bit of big city in small town Hillsboro, IL.
The old back room recording space in Gold Pan records is getting a new pop-up shop opening tomorrow! Ever since the recording studio moved out earlier this year the guys at Gold Pan Records have been trying to figure out a cool way to use the back tracking room. Jamie Sarsany, who runs The Refinery […]
Read More Surprise POP-UP-by The Refinery vintage!
There are so many projects going on downtown Hillsboro this year! Although these photos are from before the pandemic, I thought it would be a great reminder of all the stuff getting done and all the positive energy we’ve got in this special place. This was a work day on the old Greasies building. Here […]
Read More Work days!-Shots from a group effort last year.
Finishing something. Such a rare and good feeling! While I’m technically only 3/4 done with “Big Green” (our overwhelming, exciting, and marathon-long renovation project in the small town of Hillsboro, IL) it feels incredible to be done with one of the upstairs apartments this month. I love pictures for what they give us on a […]
Read More “Big Green” hits a renovation milestone!-and I get a little sappy…
It’s Alive 2. The wolf is back! While cruising Hillsboro, IL, “cool wolf” finds the magical keys to the city. He has one day to do what he wants inside any door he wants to open.. Produced and filmed by Brian Lee and Matt Sands for Small Town Cool and The Gold Pan records. Music […]
Read More It’s Alive 2!
This may be a very confusing post if you don’t read it! Ha Ha. -This week I asked a few downtown buddies if they had any plywood scraps to spare, and they did. As I’m using them up, these (see photo) worked out to look like little frames for one of the pop-up shops from […]
Read More #Usingupscraps!
Credits- Produced by Small Town Cool and The Gold Pan, Music-The Young Eyes, recorded, mixed and mastered at “the chapel”, by Ryan Paul Young“ Written and directed by- Brian Lee Story by Brian Lee, Matt Sand and Eric Adrian Lee Title and T-shirt design by Eric Adrian Lee Thanks- Jeff Eisentraut- for the Carmen Ghia. […]
Read More It’s Alive!-A Werewolf in Hillsboro.
It was at age 12 that Jenna Holtshulte first visited “Giggles”, a mom and pop gift shop in Decatur, IL. It was the first time she realized that a person could actually run a small, personalized store as a profession. The quirky, creative shop was a spark that helped Jenna (and husband Alex) start the […]
Read More New Kids on the Block-Blackboard Mercantile’s new- school gift shop
It’s been so crazy this last 6 months working on this building I’ve only snapped a photo or two of progress and other little projects. Here’s a few of them you may have missed… Borrowed the city’s new lift today to put up the lights today. Can’t wait to show you guys all the cool […]
Read More Six months are gone!…
Last year, around this time, 229 South Main in Hillsboro, IL was nothing shy of the “ugliest building on the block”. And so it was named by many downtowners. A year later Brian and Anna Limbaugh are opening Evi Salon- a fresh, modern, four chair space, full of color, historic detail and energy. Anna will […]
Read More “FRESH LOOK”- Evi Salon opens in a lovingly restored building downtown Hillsboro.