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Downtown Highland staple Hoosier Highlander under new ownership

New owners have taken over Hoosier Highlander, which has been in downtown Highland for more than seven decades.

A staple of downtown Highland for more than seven decades will live on after entering a new chapter.

Well past retirement age, longtime owners Donna Freeland and Sue Ferguson long had been looking to sell Hoosier Highlander, the custom frame shop and art supply store at 2932 Highway Ave. that dates back to 1946. 

They found the right people to take over the shop and keep it going for another generation, so they can retire.

"The Rosignols, a Highland family, are excited about their new venture … and so are the former owners," Highland Redevelopment Director Kathy DeGuilio-Fox said. "They feel they are leaving the business in good hands now that they’ve decided to retire."

The Hoosier Highlander is now owned by Jeff and Polly Rosignol, who plan to run it with daughters Renee and Alicia Rosignol. Jeff Rosignol is a lifelong Highland resident who's been a manager for suppliers to the Chicago Transit Authority, Renee Rosignol has more than a decade of experience on the floor of the Mercantile Stock Exchange and Board of Trade in Chicago, and Alicia Rosignol is a tattooist and art aficionado.

"I am most pleased that Hoosier Highlander is now in the hands of an outstanding Highland family," Ferguson said.

The 1,500-square-foot stationery store, one of the few independent frame shops left in Lake County, carries more than 2,000 frames and mat boards. Considered an icon of downtown Highland, the shop is a regional draw that also sells supplies for fine arts, cardmaking and scrapbooking.

It's been a destination for art students and people looking to commemorate significant occasions like weddings, graduations and baptisms with framed photos.

The new owners hope to "recreate the look and allure of the store."

"They promise something for every age, including a new selection of art supplies and workshops they hope will create a community for artists," the Highland Redevelopment Commission said in a press release. "The Rosignol family wants everyone to know they stand ready to create lasting relationships and focus on service that will serve all NWI area residents and artists with the same sincerity and lead Hoosier Highlander to the forefront of accessibility and design."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.