Our Story


Sentimental Journey opened its doors “On the Square” in Washington, IL on April 1, 1982 by sisters; Karen Ganz and Darlene Feser. They wanted to bring something new to a downtown square that was dying out and decided on a specialty boutique. Once that was decided they needed a name. Since their parents had passed away, they decided to name the shop after their parent’s favorite song… “Sentimental Journey”. They purchased the old Cilco building on the square, made renovations and went to market. This was all very new to two women who had both been nurses. However, on April Fool’s Day they decided to open their doors. The original store consisted of Amish built furniture, home decorating accessories, children’s clothes, penny candy, candles and country accents. As the years went on they added collectibles to their inventory.

By 1995 both sisters had retired and moved to California.  Karen’s daughter, Kris Hasten whom had worked at the store since it had opened in 1982, talked her sister, Shelly  Hines; who was a teacher and a stay at home mom at the time, into buying the store from their mom and aunt. So, in September 1995 Sentimental Journey passed from one set of sisters to the next generation of sisters. Kris and Shelly worked together at the store and took over for each other as their families grew and became involved in sports and community activities. Kris’s daughters began working at the store in high school and college, and continue to help out today. On April 1, 2010, Kris became sole owner of the store.

Through the years Sentimental Journey has continued to change. It strives to bring in new and trending gifts, along with the tried and true.  It still sells a few of the collectible lines it has carried for many years. However, it has also become known for its pictures and home accessories, in addition to being the perfect place to shop for a baby, birthday, wedding, bereavement and “ just because” gifts.  Sentimental Journey also carries a large selection of personalized gifts to make your gift giving extra special.

Sentimental Journey offers excellent customer service with knowledgeable sales staff, free layaway and gift wrapping, a take home on approval picture program and shipping for a nominal fee anywhere in the US.  

The downtown Washington Square, along with Sentimental Journey has grown to include over 20 specialty shops, restaurants, and a Bed and Breakfast. It is a perfect place to spend the afternoon, spend the day, or even stay the weekend.

Shop Sentimental Journey “On the Square” in Washington, IL