Meet Stacey Olson from True North

Outside of True North

Shopping down the Heritage Corridor is always an experience. Our many shops are truly one-of-a-kind, and sometimes you never know what to expect until you visit. One such hidden gem is True North, located in Morris, IL. They are more than an antique shop, they are a true roadside destination.

In this 10,000-square-feet shop, you can explore many things. From antiques, vintage, handmade, salvage, and furniture, there is so much to discover. Stacey Olson, owner of True North, has done a great job bringing her vision to life.

With such a massive space and so much to cover inside, this isn’t Stacey’s first rodeo. “Business development is a passion of mine,” she says. She has been in the entrepreneur role for quite some time now, owning many different companies such as a dance studio, wine shop, martini bar, Thai restaurant, and more!

stacey olson   stacey olson with her husband next to a bus

So how did she transition into True North? Well, years ago the Morris Antique Emporium was closing due to the owners planning to retire. Stacey and her husband knew the area was in need of an antique shop. So, a week later, they came across a charming 1200-square-foot location on Liberty Street, downtown Morris that was up for rent. They immediately went into action and started True North with twelve vendors.

Being in business for almost seven years now, True North kept growing and growing, catching eyes of so many people around town. “Within a year of True North opening, there were more than 50 people on the waiting list for vendor space,” says Stacey. “The store moved locations in order to accommodate more vendors. It has since added space three more times, making it now close to 10,000-square-feet.”

As you can imagine, work like this can be tough but also rewarding. “I am lucky enough to absolutely love what I do,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like work. I get to be creative, produce epic events, shop and buy things, talk to customers, work with some of the best people, and have fun every day. I have my dream job.” Sometimes Stacey struggles finding time to balance work and home life. Running such a fast-growing company can take up a lot of your days. However, having an understanding family, a business partner who is also her husband, and an awesome staff to step up when she’s away, she is able to better manage everything.

When Covid-19 hit, True North was able to put some of their focus on expanding their shop and adding even more vendors into their new space. Stacey says that they have been very lucky to have the best customers who enjoys shopping small and pretty often. “We have learned how much we value and rely on our regular customers and how much we treasure every new customer.”

True North being a destination location helps bring more shoppers in the area to explore more than just their store. “Every day customers ask what else there is to do in the area. We love to refer shoppers to other stores, attractions and promote upcoming events,” she says.

In fact, right before the pandemic, the True North Camp Bus was traveling throughout the Midwest to markets and events in order to help spread the word about their store, Morris, the Heritage Corridor and all the exciting things to find along I-80.

What has made the True North community so special is the fact that their customers are not the only ones from different states, but also their vendors. Stacey says many of their vendors come from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Missouri. This has helped their store really earn its title as a “tourist attraction for shoppers.”

For more information about True North, visit www.heritagecorridorcvb.com/Shopping/True-North

clothes on a rack inside of true north  antiques like plates and cups on display inside of true north  true north game room

Plan Your Season of Road Trips
Get a free 2021 Travel I&M Canal Towns Guide!

Scenes from the Corridor