13534 Julie Drive, Poplar Grove, Illinois

Pretty little things with a purpose.

All About lola lenora

Grandma Allen's influence

lola lenora does more than just sell pretty little things with a purpose

Grandma Walker's influence



     My Grandma Allen was an amazing influence! She lived nearly 100 years, and accumulated so much during that time.

    She had a lot of moxey. Grandma was patient and understanding, but not a pushover. If she believed in something, she stood for it, no matter the general consensus. Whatever the situation, she was always a lady.

    She had a lot of love. See, she is my great-grandmother, grandmother to my dad. He spent a lot of time with her and she loved him dearly. I know she loved all of her grandchildren, but I 

think Dad was her favorite! And that trickled down to flood me with love, too.

    She had magic. Grandma had a shelf in her cupboard that I believed held magic. I couldn’t reach it myself, so when I needed the magic, she would get it for me. I told her one day that I had an ear ache and the magic came down to heal it – Fig Newtons! After that I had a lot of ear aches when I went to Grandma’s. 

    She had intelligence. In her younger years, Grandma was known as Miss Lola Buck, one-room school teacher. I can just imagine her corralling all those different aged children and filling their heads with the knowledge they needed 

for life. She would be patient with them, I’m sure, but they better not get out of hand or they would see the disciplinarian Miss Buck. She never 

stopped learning throughout her life, reading about and absorbing all that went on around her.

    She had resilience. Grandma survived many heartbreaking days. Her first marriage dissolved, but then she found the perfect match in Earl Allen. Her middle child died of breast cancer in her 40s. Grandma told me no mother should live to see her child die. In fact, Grandma outlived all three of her children! That’s how resilient she was!  I use her example to face difficult days in my life.

    She had bravery. We lived with Grandma for a few weeks when our house sold and the next wasn’t ready yet. One night Dad suggested we have tacos for dinner. Grandma had never eaten a taco and she was nearly 70 years old. She was brave enough to try them, but I don’t remember ever having tacos at Grandma’s again.

    She had faith. She loved the Lord and lived to please Him.

    I treasure every Grandma Allen memory and lesson. Her influence helped me be who I am

Grandma Walker's influence

lola lenora does more than just sell pretty little things with a purpose

Grandma Walker's influence



    Mom says I’m a lot like Grandma Walker. 

I hope so.

    Grandma Walker was amazingly creative and resilient. She was a teenager during the Great Depression and learned to use what she had. If something was no longer usable for its original purpose, Grandma would fashion it into something else. She did not waste anything.

    Grandpa Walker was creatively talented, too. I never knew him because he died at age 46. But from what I hear, he not only could build anything -- like a house -- but he also could sew and do needlepoint!

    Of Grandma’s four children, Aunt Shelby suffered a brain injury during birth that left her mentally retarded. Grandma did not institutionalize Shelby. She kept Shelby at home which was trailblazing in 1942. When Aunt Shelby was older, Grandma was part of a group that created a sheltered workshop for mentally handicapped people like Aunt Shelby and later a group home where Shelby could live. Grandma did not waste anything.

    My grandma was a dreamer like me. She always wanted a dress shop, as she called it. So at age 54, she bought an established business in our hometown. She took that simple dress shop and expanded it to a mini mall complete with a tea room. Folks could take a break from shopping by enjoying soups, salads and desserts along with their tea or coffee. She developed this in the late 1960s.

    When the main industry in town failed so did the business, but Grandma did not fail. She liquidated and hit the road. The company she hired to help her close the store hired her to do the same for others across the United States. She was 64 years old.

    When she “retired,” she became a caregiver to “old people” – some of whom were younger than her. 

    Grandma loved the Lord and trusted Him with her life. I like to think she sees what I’m doing and tells Jesus, “That’s my girl!”

lola lenora does more than just sell pretty little things with a purpose

lola lenora does more than just sell pretty little things with a purpose

lola lenora does more than just sell pretty little things with a purpose


    Everything we sell has a purpose. But more than just a physical purpose. lola lenora creates unique fundraising opportunities. 

    We offer a different approach to raising money for your club  or organization, with personalized items created in partnership with Lis Dunn Design. 

    Past successful products have included hand-stamped personalized cuffs, hand-stamped personalized proud mama bracelets and necklaces bearing names of their children, and jewelry with a sports theme. 

    You will find the forms and instructions you need for your fundraising project right here on our website. You can download and print all the information you need to be successful.

    Contact us and we will work out all the details of your specific project.

some sales benefit others

lola lenora merchandise is unique to this store.

lola lenora does more than just sell pretty little things with a purpose


    Lis (pronounced "lease") Dunn is the creator of lola lenora, but she also has an online Etsy store with her own creations for sale. That is where the idea of pretty little things with a purpose was born.

    And where a line of products called “You are loved” was created. T-shirts,necklaces, key chains and pillows carry that message as encouragement. Lis had several family and friends who attempted or committed suicide. Lis decided instead of simply being mad and sad, she would use her talent to do something about it.

     The “You are loved” line has two purposes. One is a tangible reminder that no matter how despondent a person is, they are still loved by God and the people around them. The second is to raise funds. A portion of the sale price is split between the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and a memorial fund for the children of her high school friend who succumbed to suicide. 

    "You are loved" products are available at lola lenora. If you are unable to come to lola lenora, contact Lis 

     Read  the full story here.

lola lenora merchandise is unique to this store.

lola lenora merchandise is unique to this store.

lola lenora merchandise is unique to this store.


   This combination of home decor, gifts for everyone, and soul satisfying items created by talented artists is found only at lola lenora.  

    Eight talented local woman create the products you see. You may find similar items, but to find all in one place, you must come to lola lenora.

    Just a helpful tip...some items are repurposed creations and will not be duplicated. So if you see something you like, grab it quick before someone else takes it home to enjoy.

    And even if you've been to lola lenora recently, new items are added frequently. Come discover the fresh selection at lola lenora.

guy stuff, too

lola lenora merchandise is unique to this store.

lola lenora merchandise is unique to this store.


With all the pretty little things at lola lenora, you might think there's nothing here for the guys. We have not excluded you, men, so be brave and come explore all lola lenora has to offer. We continue to add new items for the guys.


lola lenora is a happy place ...

A comment we hear from a lot of customers at lola lenora is (paraphrased) "This place is so calming."

I know that is a strange thing to say about a retail store, but we are so happy to hear it! We want our customers to be comfortable here and feel like friends, welcome to visit and share time with us. Of course, we have items we believe our customers will want to buy and enjoy at home or to give as gifts. That is the idea of a retail store. 

But at lola lenora the pace is more peaceful and less hurried. We have lots of room to move about -- no rows of shelving confining your path. lola lenora is set up more like your home. (Click button below to see photos.)

You may have noticed our catch phrase "pretty little things with a purpose." Those are not simply words to us -- our hearts have concerns and a portion of our sales are donated to causes close to us. A new idea for 2019 is to ask our friends to share their causes with us. Each month we will donate 10% of that month's sales to the chosen cause. 

As we welcome each person to lola lenora, and partner with our customers/friends to better our community, we believe that atmosphere provides a "happy place." If you have not been to lola lenora, we invite you to stop by soon and decide for yourself.

We're so glad you're here!


Real people, real friendly, real helpful

When you are at lola lenora, we want to you to relax, take your time and enjoy the experience. 

If you need help, we are here for you. If you have a question, we will find the answer. If you just want to see what is available, look as long as you need. Lola lenora has more than just unique gifts, fun house decor and re-loved furniture. We have a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.

Come see for yourself. You will be amazed!