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 Crowbar-clad Owners Perform “Search and Rescue” for Architectural Treasures

        ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (January 31, 2004)       Where would you go to look for a set of 1940s corner cabinets or a vibrant leaded stained glass window for your vintage home?  Who do you call for tips on installing a fireplace mantle reminiscent of your childhood home?  Enter 36-year-old Tabitha Long and 37-year-old Elizabeth Ross.

This dynamic team has defied any stereotype of suburban women entrepreneurs with the launch of Island Girl Salvage in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  Unique as the name and Rosie the Riveter image on the storefront window, Island Girl Salvage is the only pre-1950s architectural salvage store that caters to the needs of residents in Chicago’s bustling Northwest suburbs.

       When you enter their new retail store, don’t expect to see Ms. Long and Ms. Ross in business attire.  Quite the contrary, as the pair has traded in their skirts and heels for work boots and jeans with tool belts.  The Island Girl Salvage founders and owners don’t leave home without their crowbars and pick-up truck as they need to be ready at all times to “rescue” an authentic time period piece from a home or office on the demolition blocks.

       “You would be surprised at some of the items we have been asked to find,”  comments Tabitha Long, Owner and Co-founder of Island Girl Salvage.  “Since we do all the hands-on work for acquiring and removing the architectural treasures from existing homes and buildings, Island Girl Salvage takes a personal stake in the historical items and sells them at reasonable prices.  Unlike other architectural salvage companies, we provide the added benefit of documenting the lineage of the item so customers can preserve the historical heritage and have a great story to tell.”

       Island Girl Salvage features a special “Wish List” in the store that customers can record individual architectural pieces they would like the salvage experts to find.  Ms. Long and Ms. Ross perform “search and rescue” efforts on older residential and commercial buildings, while frequenting estate sales and auctions, to constantly update their inventory.  As a result, customers in the Arlington Heights store will find different items each week they visit, inquire with the owners on the phone or log on to the company’s website.  Island Girl Salvage owners also work with the customers to offer installation and renovation advice, tips and contractor sources.

Whether you are renovating an older home or looking to add historic charm to a new home, there are many people in the market for antique collectibles and period architectural pieces.  The challenge comes in trying to locate high-quality, reasonable pieces without traveling the country or sacrificing your specific architectural needs.  Island Girl Salvage answers the call of today’s homeowner, do-it-yourself home renovator and architectural collector. 

       “With an influx in home additions and remodeling projects, the trend is for people to reinvest in their homes,”  explains Elizabeth (Liz) Ross, Owner and Co-founder of Island Girl Salvage.  “Everyone from Baby Boomers to GenX’ers are looking to enhance the quality of their lives by returning to a simpler time --- thus an increased interest in restoring a piece of their past to their own home.”

       Island Girl Salvage recently opened its prime retail location in downtown Arlington Heights in Spring 2003 and has developed a loyal customer base.  The store features hundreds of items including doors (interior, exterior, back, front and French) and windows of all shapes and sizes; leaded stained glass; fireplace mantles, fenders, screens and andirons; claw foot tubs, pedestal sinks and vintage medicine cabinets; lighting (chandeliers, sconces, floor, radio and desk lamps); mirrors, hardware, ornamental woodwork and metalwork; silver serving items and decorative ware; garden ware including urns, cements, benches and planters; marble sinks and pedestals; and vintage Midwestern pottery.

Island Girl Salvage is the only pre-1950s architectural salvage company in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Located at 74 S. Evergreen Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois, the unique retail shop provides a one-stop source for quality antique and architectural pieces to be used in residential and commercial buildings.  In addition, Island Girl Salvage is a vendor at the Colonial Antique Mall in Woodstock, Illinois and can be accessed via www.islandgirlsalvage.com or by calling 847.392.2726


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