Tremont is located in central Illinois, approximately 20 minutes from Peoria and 40 minutes from Bloomington. Traveling through Tremont on Illinois Rt. 9, you will find Tremont Gallery located in the Tremont Depot. Tremont Gallery is owned and operated by sisters, Ann Mitzelfelt and Carla Williams. Ann and Carla, daughters of Keith and Marilyn Toepfer, grew up in Tremont.
Tremont Lumber/Toepfer Gallery
For over 50 years, until April 2000, the Toepfer family owned and operated Tremont Lumber, selling quality lumber and building supplies to area homeowners. In 1986, Keith and Marilyn Toepfer turned a personal hobby into a small collectibles business. A small space in Tremont Lumber was transformed into Toepfer Gallery. The main collectibles available for sale included Anri Woodcarvings, Swarovski Silver Crystal, M.I. Hummel, Connoisseur Porcelain, and Lowell Davis Figurines. Keith and Marilyn would take short buying trips to select and purchase merchandise for Toepfer Gallery. Over the years, Toepfer Gallery gladly hosted several artist events to demonstrate various art forms. Customers especially enjoyed the Anri woodcarver from Italy and the Connoisseur Porcelain artists from England.
Those Were The Days: Toepfer Gallery
Keith and his daughters, Carla Williams and Ann Mitzelfelt, worked at both Tremont Lumber and Toepfer Gallery. When a gallery customer visited Toepfer Gallery to buy collectibles, Keith, Carla or Ann would assist them with their purchase. Building materials and collectibles are an interesting and fun mix of merchandise to sell.
The Move and Name Change
After the sale of Tremont Lumber in April 2000, Carla and Ann continued in business together. Toepfer Gallery became Tremont Gallery, and during the summer of 2000, Carla and Ann continued with plans for expansion. Under the direction of Keith, a new addition to the Tremont Depot was completed in early fall of 2000. After displays and merchandise were moved to their new home in the Depot, Tremont Gallery officially opened for business in October 2000.
A New Chapter: Rubber Rainbows Stamping
In Spring 2010, Carla and Ann made a major decision to purchase Rubber Rainbows, a rubber stamp store owned by Marge Tolley in Galesburg, IL. Marge open Rubber Rainbows in 1989. After 21 years of service, Marge was ready for retirement. Carla is an avid rubber stamper and was a long time customer of Rubber Rainbows. After many trips between Tremont and Galesburg, lots of packing and unpacking, lots of organizing, lots of work, and lots of fun, Rubber Rainbows opened in Tremont Gallery on Monday, May 17, 2010. Rubber Rainbows could not have opened on time without the help of Ann & Carla's father, Keith, and Carla's husband, Dave, who built display areas for the 1000's of rubber stamps and card making supplies.
Name Change: Pearl Street Stamping
Both excitement and interest were generated during a contest held in spring 2012 to solicit ideas from customers for the Rubber Rainbows name change. Over 550 ideas were submitted by many creative customers! First Carla and Ann eliminated ideas that were already used by other stores. Then each remaining idea was evaluated based on the strength of an idea to market the stamp store. After much deliberation, Pearl Street Stamping was selected as the new name for several reasons. Pearl Street Stamping is located on Pearl Street, which is also known as Illinois Route 9, in Tremont, Illinois. Pearl Street Stamping is easy to pronounce, and it appears that there is no other stamp store by that name. Welcome Pearl Street Stamping!s
A Special Thank You
We would like to acknowledge and thank our parents, Keith and Marilyn Toepfer, for their interest in our lives and the lives of our husbands and children. Without their ongoing interest and support, Tremont Gallery would not be open today. When you visit the store, chances are you may see Keith or Marilyn, one of Carla’s family (husband Dave, daughter Brianna, son Eric) or one of Ann’s family (husband Jeff, son Ben, daughter−in−law Sarah, son Ed). Our lives are enriched through our families.