PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Asia Henderson is a wife, mom of two boys and the owner of Maneki Permanent Jewelry and Gift Shop located in Northwoods Mall.
“I think I’ve always had like an entrepreneurial mindset even since I was a child, so this felt pretty natural,” she said with a big smile.
If you see the sign with the Maneki cat on the front, then you’re in the right place. Henderson’s business is located across from PINK in the mall on the lower level.
Inside the store, Henderson can be found creating smiles one link at a time with trendy and popular permanent jewelry. The process is delightful and simple.
People come in; they pick out a chain from our selection. We’ve got gold-filled, rose gold, 14 karat solid gold and sterling silver. Once they select their chain, we measure it to fit them and then we cut it and weld it shut so it’s claspless, so you don’t have to worry about taking it on and off every day, which people really enjoy. We can also add charms to it and the whole process only takes about 10 minutes.
What started out as only an idea at the beginning of this year, quickly came to fruition.
“My husband and I were actually living in Scottsdale, Arizona where it’s pretty popular and when we moved back to Peoria, I was looking around like, no one’s doing this yet here. We should bring that experience here,” Henderson said.
Originally, Henderson had thought about doing permanent jewelry out of her home, but decided she needed a storefront.
“We originally opened downtown in the Twin Towers Mall. It was a very quaint, small space and we quickly outgrew that, so we were only there for a couple months before we came over to Northwoods and it’s crazy to think how fast it’s all evolved,” she said.
Henderson opened her doors at the mall in early August.
Overall, Henderson said she wanted to create a fun experience for all her customers. She said studies show Gen Z is gravitating toward brick and mortar.
“People want to do things. I love experiences. I love brick and mortar. So, it was something that we thought the area could use, and so far, it’s been really successful. We’ll be really excited about it,” she said.
Besides permanent jewelry, you can find one-of-a-kind gifts. Henderson said if you’re looking to become a small business owner, just go for it.
“I would just encourage people to just like do what makes you feel excited and happy right now,” Henderson said.
If you’re interested in permanent jewelry, you can schedule an appointment or just walk in.