A Publication of WTVP

Rural Business of the Year

Handcrafted and personalized gifts, from rural Illinois to the world

by Jonathan Wright |
Spang Gang Designs, LLC

Based in Eureka, Illinois, Spang Gang Designs, LLC has evolved from a fulfilling hobby to a thriving business in just a few short years. The company—aptly named after owners Erica and Bryce Spanglers’ nickname for their family of six—creates a variety of family-oriented wooden signs, slogans and decorative wall hangings for their customers’ homes, as well as a wide selection of personalized ornaments, religious keepsakes, celebratory mementos and photo frames.Spang Gang Designs, LLC

Spang Gang Designs was founded in 2012 as a creative outlet for Erica while she and her husband were in graduate school. After years of hard work and countless hours learning online sales strategies, the company has sold more than $2 million of products out of their home, allowing Erica to “retire” from her job as a family nurse practitioner in 2020, and Bryce, a teacher, to follow suit in 2021. “For some reason, working 80 hours per week for yourself is more satisfying than working 40 hours for someone else,” Bryce jokes. As demand for their products expanded, the Spanglers’ children started pitching in on days when they’re not in school, making it a true, all-hands-on-deck family business.

What sets them apart, Erica notes, is the high quality and speed of delivery, even though most of their products are personalized or customized in one way or another. “Everything is handcrafted and made to order in the USA—right in the heartland of Illinois,” she explains. “The Gang,” as the Spanglers affectionately refer to themselves, has shipped more than 50,000 packages around the world and maintains a five-star rating on their Etsy shop.

Until recently, they managed to accomplish all this while essentially running a woodcraft production shop out of their home. The family has since purchased another property to accommodate their steady growth, moving their production and shipping activities to that location. Spang Gang Designs continued to flourish throughout the pandemic and is on pace for another record year in 2021, highlighting the creative spirit and can-do attitude of the small business owners of rural Illinois. PM