Hi – my name is Jane. I am the owner of VALENTIA studio/boutique, 2042 N Damen Avenue.
I am an A.S.I.D. interior designer – but I have always wanted a shop. We moved to Chicago a little over a year ago and this just fell into place so I decided to go with it!
The shop is laid out like an actual apartment: the front room has ladies wear, accessories and a few specialty items for the men. The kitchen has kitchen stuff, the bedroom has custom headboards and “bedroom” things. The bathroom has bath items. There is also a little nook with baby items [mostly all handmade].
My goal is to keep PRICES MODERATE!
Where did you get the inspiration to open your business?
I’ve been playing “store” since I was 4 years old!
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business in Chicago?
Go with your gut.
What product or service of yours are you the most excited about offering?
I really enjoy carrying local artist’s work and Fair Trade items. I am designing a line of summer dresses that are locally made! This is the first I’ve mentioned this to anyone! It is very exciting!
What do you like the most about being located in Wicker Park Bucktown?
I am so thankful for the day I happened upon this location! Being new to Chicago I really didn’t know the depth of WPB! It has such a great vibe – I feel so lucky to be here! I love the neighborhood feel in an urban setting and the mix of apartments, homes, parks, churches and shops all working together to make up this great area.
What are the places in Wicker Park Bucktown that you cannot live without?
I haven’t had much time to explore now that I am in retail… But every restaurant we’ve tried has been super – both the florists are great – salons, barber shops….seems we can find pretty much everything here! It’s hard to beat TOAST for breakfast/lunch.
What kind of people are your customers?
I am starting to get repeat business from the locals which I SO appreciate! …THANK YOU, LOCALS!
But very surprisingly [to me] is the amount of out of towners I am seeing! Not only U.S. but also Europe and Asia! One day I had over 7 countries represented in the shop!
What can people expect when they walk in your front door?
A COLORFUL AND HAPPY VIBE!
Do you have any stories of successful cross-promotions that you have done with other local businesses?
The Christmas SHOP LOCAL and the SHOP for your LOCAL SCHOOL Event was super!! I also did a ladies night out with a Mary Kay cosmetic rep. We had such a nice turn out and such a good time! I would definitely team up with others for promotions! Last summer’s sidewalk sale was also a good event!
What ways has the Chamber been helpful to building your business?
I think the Chamber reaches so many more people than I have access to. I like the events and promotions they have. I will participate in whatever they offer!
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