Gift Guides to Make This Weekend a Breeze

Gift giving is hard, you guys. We’re here to hopefully make things easy! Here are some guides to help you shop for those who are hard to shop for! And all the while, you are supporting small business.

So, here are our recommendations:

For the Woman: Polished Prints ‘Heart of Gold’ shirt, Old Town Flowers flower bud salve, Sunshine Studio earrings, This Loves That wristlet, Jenni Earle Banana and leather tie


For the Man: Hopscotch ringneck teeshirt, The Bartenders Knife, Boneyard Bowtie, a deck of cards


For the Bartender: The Host Key, The Carry-on Cocktail Kit, The Pineapple Co metal straws, The Bartender’s Knife


For the Teacher: This Loves That necklace and keychain tassel, Pipapo earrings, Idlewild Co 2019 Planner


For Foodie: Big Grove Apiaries honey, Page Roasting Co. coffee, The Picnic Knife, These Are Things pretzel pin, Terra Cotta pinch Bowls


For The Chef: The Short Stack Cookbook, Organic Cotton Stripe Apron, Spice Grinder


For the Snuggler: Made Market Co matches, Beverly + 3rd Candle Co candle, Big Heart Tea Co, Hopscotch Enamel Mug, Same Street Textiles pillow



Do you know Mrs. Emily? You should - she’s pretty amazing. She has spent the last 8 years preaching that fashion can bring confidence and self-love to your life. That message is inspiring and I couldn’t tell you how many times I have texted her an outfit before I go and do something ‘big’. (She also helped me pick out my unconventional wedding dress - because that’s the kind of friend she is.) We are so very excited to have her at the shop for a pop-up November 24th from 12-4 on Small Business Saturday.

1. Tell us about Mrs. Emily and how you got started. 

Hi, I’m Emily Harris! 8 years ago I started selling handmade clothing on my website, I was living in NYC at the time and the plan was to build my business alongside being a mama and wife. 

To say there have been twists and turns in my journey would be a massive understatement. I went a couple of years without sewing at all somewhere in the middle there. Discouragement in my process has led to inspiration in my designing, and this past April, I added handmade skirts back to the shop. 

2. What does shop local mean to you?

Shopping local is about finding one-of-a-kind treasures. Things you can’t find anywhere else made by people you can’t find anywhere else. There’s nothing quite like it.

3. You’ve recently started a new Instagram chronicling your new jean wears, what is the importance of this?

I spent $100 on a pair of denim and I’m documenting each time I wear them. I want to show how spending more per item helps us find pieces we love rather than just like, which naturally clears our closets of clutter while upping our confidence. I also want to show how I can afford things at a higher price point by wearing them often, so each time I post, I add the cost per wear, which keeps going down. You can follow along at

4. What is your favorite goodie at the shop?

The. Pumpkin. Cookies. I buy them whenever I see them, often in multiples. Everyone I give one to gasps. And I love that when Kaya talks about them, she says how they’re almost healthy because they don’t have THAT much sugar in them and there’s so much pumpkin ;). I have half of one downstairs currently, and now need to go eat it (I ate the other half for breakfast).

5. What are you bringing to the pop up?

Every winter, I make scarves. But I’ve been sewing a ton of skirts lately, so when it came time to start designing scarves, my brain was still in skirt mode. The result? Skirts made out of blanket-weight fabrics. They’re warm and cozy like a scarf, but feminine and wearable. 

I’m bringing different lengths and sizes, and will be able to tailor the skirt on you, at the pop up.

I will also have the fabrics I picked up last time I was in NYC, so you can choose one and I will make a skirt custom for you. This Zebra print is one of those fabrics. See how I dressed it up and down? It’s the same concept as my $100 jeans. Buy something you love and wear it all the time for every occasion! 

6. Where can I find you online?

I love documenting the process of creating on Instagram ( and Facebook (! You can shop my tees and caps online at


MEET THE MAKER: Simple Palette


We LOVE Priscilla Putman! She makes it easy. She is a hardworking momma with a passion to teach young and ‘old’ alike. Priscilla will be back at The Hop this Friday teaching her SOLD OUT Brush Lettering Workshop.

1. Tell us about Simple Palette and how it came to be.

The Simple Palette is a hand lettered paper goods + gifts company owned and operated by yours truly, right here in Champaign, IL! 
As an artist and art teacher I have always loved calligraphy and hand lettering, but it was about 3 years ago that I created my first line of watercolor and hand-lettered greeting cards for an art show - and was immediately hooked! I opened an Etsy shop online with only a few cards and slowly began to add new designs over the last three years. 
I fell in love with the process of creating whimsical and playful watercolor illustrations and pairing them with hand lettered phrases - from food puns to heartfelt quotes - to create unique and meaningful cards and gifts to share with loved ones. I am a gift giver at heart - in fact, many of my designs are inspired by someone special in my life - so it always brings me joy when I can help someone find a meaningful gift for their own loved one!
After creating my original designs by hand, I work with local printers to produce my stationery, art prints and tea towel designs in small batches - then package everything with love in my home studio! You can find my work online at, or at local art markets throughout the year. 

2. As a teacher, mom, and artist, what does community mean to you and how does it affect your business?

Community inspires nearly every aspect of my life. As an artist, the artwork and gifts I design are created for the purpose of reaching out to others - for walking beside someone who is going through a difficult time by sending a thoughtful card, or celebrating life's joys with one another with a gift that brings a smile. I don't believe we were meant to "do life" alone. We need each other! I am always trying to extend this sentiment to my role as an art teacher. Every year I do an art project with my students where we hand-letter a quote that would encourage and uplift our school community, and we hang up the finished prints all over school! 

I've lived here for almost 10 years, but in the last few years as a mother and small business owner I have become especially aware of what it means to truly be a part of our community here in Champaign-Urbana. Little things like supporting local artists and makers, and shopping at the Farmers Market whenever we can for local produce can make a big impact, and teach our children about the inner-workings of a sustainable community. I make a point to produce and create products for The Simple Palette locally - putting money back into other locally owned businesses, and ultimately investing in my own community!

3. Can you tell us about the class you are teaching?

In addition to paper goods and gifts, The Simple Palette is now offering brush lettering workshops! It's the perfect combination of my love for teaching and brush lettering - and I am so excited to teach a class here at Hopscotch! I created a brush lettering practice book especially for our workshops - filled with tips and tricks for using both brush pens and watercolors to letter. I also hand selected lettering tools and materials for the class that I use almost every time I letter. Each attendee with get a copy of my book to keep, as well as a kit that has everything you need to start your own journey with brush lettering!

This class is for beginners - for students who have the interest but aren't quite sure where to start or what supplies they would need. We start the class learning lettering with brush pen markers and then end the class by using a specialty watercolor brush and learning how to mix up watercolors in our palettes to approach lettering in a more painterly way. For this class we will also try out our new skills lettering names on watercolor place-cards and gift tags, just in time for the holidays! 

4. What is your favorite goodie at the shop?

My favorite treat would have to be the scones - hands down - paired with a vanilla latte of course!

You can taste the love (and butter) in every bite! :)


And the winners are...



We have so many feelings about this couple, but we will let their words tell the story. Here is their entry:

Our story

Chase and I have been dating for 7.5 years and are counting down the days until summer of 2019 when we get married at last. Our love story began when we met in Champaign. I was in my second year at U of I and Chase had recently graduated from there. We met through mutual friends and knew who each other were but that was the extent of our relationship. Our first real 1:1 interaction occurred on the corner of Busey and University in Urbana just outside of Carle Hospital. It was a dark cold winter night and after volunteering at the Hospital I had been waiting on the corner for a safe ride to pick me up. Chase was driving back to campus after training at a volunteer fire department in Urbana when our paths crossed. Chase spotted me bundled up in my bright red coat and nearly did a U-turn. He asked if I wanted a ride, and I couldn’t resist.  I jumped in his cozy car and we talked the entire drive and then some more after. This is where the first spark ignited. From then on we realized we had so much in common and just as much not in common. Months later, Chase asked me out on a date and we’ve been together since.

Chase came from a small town of <1,000 residents and I came from the second largest city in Illinois. He had the most adorable loving tiny family with the biggest hearts beaming with lots of quirky/fun traditions. I had a large traditional family that can be described as “very Mexican” and a bit slow to warm up. My entire family drank coffee at least three times a day and Chase’s family didn’t have a coffee pot in sight. Chase’s family was filled with musicians; his parents had a duo and would perform around the Peoria area when they first started dating. My family may have a genetic predisposition to becoming tone-deaf, although this has not been confirmed. Despite our differences, I think what truly united us was our love for both of our families, a united vision to build our own, take the best, and pass it on to others.

Throughout these seven years, we have endured many difficult and trying experiences.  For one, we have only lived within an hour or in the same town for 3 out of the 7 years. Chase was a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service and spent several months or “seasons” on the West Coast (California/Oregon) fighting fires. Prior to meeting Chase, he had worked two seasons during his summer breaks at school and wanted to continue to explore that fiery career.  I had my mind set on graduate school. One thing that was clear was that we both fully supported each other’s dreams and careers, and we were willing to make all the sacrifices that were necessary. So Chase went back to the West Coast 6 months out of the year to continue being a Wildland firefighter. I finished undergrad and then pursued a rigorous graduate degree in school psychology. Not only were we unable to see each other, but also in many ways, communication itself was nearly impossible given his 15+ hour seven days-a-week work days as well as very spotty cell phone reception in the most remote places. I was also completely consumed with my responsibilities in graduate school.  One of my favorite memories was on my 21st birthday, when Chase was able to get permission to come and see me. After work, he drove 5 hours to San Francisco, took a plane ride to O’Hare, surprised me, spent the weekend with me before returning back to California and driving another 5 hours to be at work the next day. That’s just the type of guy that he is.

After several fire seasons, Chase came back home to Central Illinois to spend time with his family after his father's health had greatly deteriorated due to leukemia. Within these 7 years we have attended more funerals of the closest of our family members than we ever could have imagined.  At times, it has felt like our tight knit family was fading away.

Throughout these seven years we have also shared several exciting milestones such as grad school acceptances, three graduations, family expansions, several new jobs, fun mini-trips, and most excitingly the day/weekend we got engaged!  Chase is now a coffee drinker, becoming more fluent in Spanish, heating up tortillas the right way, and an integral member of my family. I’ve become a better dancer, more faith-filled, a bit more physically fit (to keep up with him), and much more adventurous. 

Chase recently got hired as a full time firefighter and I am living in Urbana working for the school district. We’ve been searching for the right careers, in the right place, at the right time. These experiences have made us stronger and more appreciative of one another.  We are still inspired by the many families that make sacrifices while working for the Forest Service, the military, or even just couples that have endured so much pain but always manage to push forward. We also always make time for each other and each other’s family because we know how precious time is and how important family is.

So why us?

I would never say that we are the best couple, most worthy, or more deserving of this amazing opportunity. I’ve been inspired by so many other love stories and can only hope that someday our love could be one to inspire others. We are both easy going, nature-loving, slightly introverted, old souls that are just trying to find our own way in this chaotic world and help make it a bit better. What I can do is promise you that if you were to pick us, we would be eternally grateful and would proudly showcase your talent and generosity on our big day. We are just now, entering our careers and embarking on this journey. Things have been falling right into place, just as we had hoped and prayed that they would.

About the wedding

We decided to get married at a church in Champaign-Urbana. We found it so meaningful to come back to the place where it all began. We hope to use lots of green infused with neutrals and some "pops" of color to tie in a subtle Mexican/fiesta type of theme. We are going to have a food truck for appetizers of tacos, piñatas, and most of all hope to make it as much of a representation of the both of us. Chase uses idioms a lot when he talks and is constantly having to break them down for me so we’re hoping to sneak in some “sayings” through our decorations. We have been planning this wedding hand in hand together. It’s a bit daunting given our modest budget and the fact that we are “new” to Champaign-Urbana (as non-students) with no family connections here. However, we have been saving up for this day. It’s been in the works for a long time now and it feels so right. Thank you for reading a snapshot of our story. I am grateful to be able to share it.

Secret Giveaway!

We’re giving away a wedding cake!

We will be giving away a custom made wedding cake: one (single) tiered wedding cake up to four tiers (up to $800 value). We want to hear your love story and why we should choose you to be our inaugural winner! We have met so many amazing couples during our Hopscotch wedding journey and we want to meet more of you. If you want to enter, please email us at (subject line: FREE CAKE) your story. Since this is our first wedding cake giveaway, please follow the rules closely.

Good Luck and we can’t wait to read your stories!



Boho Styled Shoot-Hannah Kyle-0017.jpg


1. Both bride and groom may both enter, but it will only count as one submission.

2. Wedding must be within 12 months of entry.

3. Provide inspiration pictures from your dream wedding - we want to get to know you!

4. Follow us on Facebook + Instagram

5. Entries will close on Saturday, 10/27 at midnight.

6. Winners will be announced Monday 10/29.

Fine print: locals only, delivery will be determined on a case-by-case basis, no dates can be changed once submitted, no wedding = no cake, someone may submit and win for another couple, no multiple entries, no dogs may enter, although very cute.



Our friend, Matthis is having a pop-up with us on November 1st from 1-5! We wanted to introduce him to you, but you probably already know him - he is famous for Plant Mode (inside Furniture Lounge) and having some (if not the) coolest plants in the Champaign-Urbana area.

Tell us about Plant Mode and how it got started.

I had worked at Modern Home and Garden shop in Chicago called Sprout Home, I worked there for almost 9 years and I loved it. I left that job for a job in Hawaii, that job wasn’t really going to work out so I thought I’d move back to my hometown and give a plant shop a go. Plant Mode started as a Pop Up shop out of my apartment in downtown Champaign. After having a Pop Up inside of Furniture Lounge around the holiday season, Scott and Amanda asked what I thought about planting Plant Mode inside of Furniture Lounge, and that’s really what got things off the ground for me.

How does ‘shop local’ play in to your business?

Well, some of my plants are sourced here in Champaign County, but a good chunk of the rare, unique stuff comes from a greenhouse up north. I make planters from concrete and plant things up in them, a couple of my vendors are local makers. I’d love to get move non plant product in the shop. When I worked at Sprout Home it was fun to stock the shop with fun home goods. When my shop grows up we will get more into that. I also believe in planting into anything, I’m big into re use recycle, so you might find a little jade tree planted into a tin can, and guess what... it’s a planter folks. Might not be fancy, but it’s a planter. So trying to take a dent out of the local landfill is a part of Plant Mode philosophy for sure.

Why are plants so freaking awesome?

Plants are awesome because if you give them a little love, they give you back a lot. They can remove toxins from our homes and workplaces, they can provide oxygen to your environment, and what i live most about plants.... they show you how much they care for you and appreciate your help by providing growth, growth that you made happen. I have met many proud plant parents, and converted many folks that claimed to be plant killers. I think people are surprised by how easy it can be with the right information.

My favorite treat from the Hop.... 

Salted caramel brownie, game over.


The History of 802 West John

photo: justine fein-bursoni

photo: justine fein-bursoni

Our building is situated right in the heart of old town Champaign. Kitty-corner from Southside Elementary School and to the east of that is the Mellon Building. South of these buildings there are baseball fields, where nearly everyone we know played farm league as a kid. 

802 West John Street has been a corner market sine 1937, with the first being Gallions; a grocery store that had produce, meats and most importantly, candy.  The old timers tell us that after school they would walk over to the store to pick up penny candy and ice cream (yo-yo demonstrations too).  After Gallions, in 1964, came Kelsey’s who carried on with the tradition of grocery delivery and corner market. Rumor has it Mr. Kelsey was known for giving candy away. 

From 1970 to 2015 the location had been Ms. Winnifred Sanders' dietary shop. In the early '70s and '80s she provided dietary needs for an underserved community. She has kept the store up and running until 2015, when she decided to retire. To read more about the dietary store, click here.  The building went up for sale and Jeff Wampler purchased it, being from the neighborhood, hoping to keep the corner store tradition alive. 

In honor of the stores before us, we have repurposed the vintage ice cream cooler - you will find it when you walk in, usually stocked with Old Town Flower’s flowers and other locally made items. We still have the candy case, it is hidden and protected safely in our office.

We knew when we choose this building that the pressure was on to continue with the legacy of the stores before us, and we hopefully have served our community well. We are the fourth business that has set up shop there and most likely not the last. The building is strong and full of love and we know it is not coming down anytime soon.


MEET THE MAKER: Dana Overman

Dana legit just busted on to our scene here in Champaign Urbana and has found success everywhere she has gone. She was at THREE venues for Boneyard 2018 and this fall you will find her work on the MTD, in 40North’s program MTD ART. She will be teaching a class here On August 25th, titled ‘Painting with Words’.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! Hmmm, a little about me… First of all I hate “labels” so I made a concerted effort to avoid them here.

I create as a living, making things that express inner angst, joy, wonder, love, curiosities and feelings that have no names.  Today it turns out that Prussian Blue is my favorite paint color and the palette knife favorite tool.  I find immense freedom in large scale work and I get paint everywhere and don’t care. I write poetry that takes me to places I have been and places I long to go. My camera is often an outlet of creative immediate gratification and music is my muse.  

I love living where prairie sunsets are magical and the harvest moon is real. I have a love hate relationship with seasons so it seems to work out pretty well that they go away for a short time only to return back to me when it seems as if they’ve been gone forever.  

I have raised 5 babies into full grown humans and as of today 3 of them are experiencing the joy that babes bring. My heart and head are made of hippie stuff, the enneagram 4 fits me like a glove and I’m married to a 7... I think that sums up a lot.

How has your artistic journey been in Champaign Urbana?

Very welcoming… C/U are beautiful diverse cities that provide wonderful opportunities for the artist/maker/creator no matter the skill level, type of craft, or where you come from.  There is an incredible amount of talented local creatives that I have found to be supportive, kind and inclusive. I jumped right in this year participating in the 40 North’s Untitled Event and 2018 Boneyard Arts Festival and so glad I did!  My journey continues as I create through painting, writing and photography.    

You have a class coming up, what will you be doing?

I am so excited about this creative workshop that I have developed for women age 13 and up.  

We will be playing and creating with words in a way that will paint a picture of emotion; it might include whimsy, love, grief, joy, hope, frustration… it might look like poetry, prose or journaling.  Painting with words is a way to tap into our creative self, stretching the creative muscle.  By working through a number of word exercises we are able to breakthrough some word norms, throw punctuation out the window along with those pesky rules that have been constructed in our minds that tend to restrict our word creativity.  Paint with Words 1.0 workshop exercises can be easily continued outside of the workshop to keep the word creativity growing. 

I have created a textile art journal for each participant. These journals are only for the class participants and will not be made available outside of this workshop.  Writing is a very personal and brave act, my hope is that these handmade journals provide a safe, intimate space to explore.

What is your favorite treat at The Hop?

This is the most difficult question…. I am an admitted sweet addict, so… to be completely honest, and that is how I roll, to date everything I have tried at the Hop has been thoroughly enjoyed and because I try something new each time I visit I can say I love it all.  So to answer the question… the consumption of the Hop’s images on Instagram is my favorite treat!  They are beautiful works of art and the most delightful eye candy! 



We are now carrying products from The Veronica Shop!

Welcome to Hopscotch, The Veronica Shop! We’re happy to have you!


Veronica’s cards are designed by her and printed on paper made by Fress Press. If you are unfamiliar, Fress Press is a student run paper shop that makes small batches of artisan sustainable agri-fiber papers made from locally sourced harvest waste from the Sustainable Student Farm.

Sidebar: Veronica is one of our talented baristas! We love supporting our own!