The Story of


Humble since the beginning. 

Astoria Products started back in 2002 when John Stephens decided to make gifts for family and friends. He wanted an activity to take his mind off of his real job and fell in love with the idea that he could make something unique and share it with people he loves. This hobby soon developed into a part-time job. John added more and more products to his line and people started to discover his handmade happiness through word of mouth. One happy customer to another. 


Small business with big heart. 

In November 2013 John enlisted the help of Timmy Valentine and Tyler Mosier to open the first retail location. The tiny shop was filled with bath and body products all handmade right inside the store. It was a huge hit. John and the guys were able to refine their small batch approach to bath and beauty and turn it into a shopping experience that customers enjoyed. The things they learned in those first few years about quality and customer service have developed into the company philosophy that guides what Astoria Products does today. Be True, Be Creative, Be Kind are just a few of the words that motivate everyone in the company every day. 


Deep roots encourage strong growth. 

In 2016 John and the Guys were able to move the retail operation and manufacturing into a much bigger building in the nearby town of Arthur Illinois and that is where we are today. We call this shop The Arthur General Store. The store occupies two downtown buildings built in the late 1800’s. It is a colorful space that celebrates creativity everywhere you look. We have filled the shop with our Astoria products and you can even watch as we hand wrap and label each bar of soap or bottle of lotion. 


Innovation and expansion.

As our business has grown we have found other ways to help our customers feel good. Inside The Arthur General Store, we also feature a giant pop up style boutique that highlights our brand southVine clothing. You will also find carefully curated collections of our favorite things like blown glass pumpkins and ornaments, pottery, and housewares made in our neighborhood by local artists and creators. This store has become a destination. Stop in and see for yourself how we help visitors from all over the world find a reason to smile! We have expanded and now also occupy two downtown buildings on the square in Sullivan Illinois. 101 East Jefferson street just one block south of the world famous Little Theatre on the Square.