The Magic of Creating

hands play

Lindy Stockton, owner of The Collage Care in Evanston, thinks the idea of having a shop has been with her forever. “My sister Ruth and I are both makers. We talked about it a lot.”

Lindy, who opened the shop officially on Sept. 26 after a soft opening in July, didn’t just want a space where she could create. “I needed a place where my kindreds could come — particularly those who don’t think of themselves as creative. The Collage Cafe provides a space where we can create and share those stories.”

Lindy Laugh

For her, “creativity is fostering a sense of curiosity.” Lindy says the move from a successful head of change management for a large corporation to a shop-owner who handles “soup to nuts” requires her to learn as she goes. Key for her in this new role is remembering, “it’s just a decision. You can change up the decision. You aren’t married to it.”

shop view left

She’s pleased that 95% of people who walk through the door are enchanted. The relationship starts there, she explains. Her biggest learning as a small business owner is that it’s okay to ask people to help. When she noticed a hesitancy about suggesting her friends host a party at the cafe and invite their friends, she realized she had bumped up against one of her barriers. “Now I tell customers, I’m asking for your help. Tell two friends, groups or networks. She calls this the “tell two” approach.

brushes and sponges

Lindy began rediscovering her artistic, creative soul in a bigger way when a friend and student in a fine arts program mentioned that she was going to go to her studio. Lindy instantly realized she held a self-limiting belief that a person could only have a studio if she was making a living in the fine arts.”


Transitioning from the corporate world to small business ownership takes courage. “I’m fearless,” she smiles. “I’ve always been fearless.” As an afternoon kindergartner, Lindy’s mother instructed her to wait at school and walk home with her brothers. “I got tired of waiting so I walked myself home. I had things to do.”

“Everything we do in life is a choice. Some bring us closer to our goals, some take us farther away. I want this to be a space to explore and discover what’s important to you.”

Step into the shop, follow the cafe on Facebook or visit the website and you’ll notice, Lindy has a penchant for color. “I choose happy. Color and music play a significant role in enlivening the mood. I would hope when you walk in, you feel very happy here.”

You can meet Lindy in person at The Collage Café at 912 Sherman in Evanston or by visiting