Making a neighborhood

This morning, I went to Dolce Casa Café  to grab a coffee and take some notes before heading into the chaos of the studio for the day.

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At the front counter, there was a sheet of information on a petition for our neighborhood.  The first two lines made me audibly grumble: "Currently, SEVEN beauty salons operate betweeen 4700 - 4950 N. Damen.  An appeal has been filed with the city by Saturn Spa, LLC to open yet another salon/spa at 4845 N. Damen Avenue."  

There is a city ordinance that prevents too-similar businesses from opening less than 1000ft. away from an existing "competitor".  This isn't a damn-the-man situation where the mean City of Chicago is keeping a business from opening its doors.  This is a zoning restriction that helps neighborhoods.  It's a safeguard against an entire block becoming an unending row of waxing salons (for example).  Imagine the neighborhood you live in having every available storefront filled with a donut shop.  At first it sounds like a blissful utopia, but then, after a couple of days gorging yourself on crullers and planning donut crawls with your neighbors, you'd probably start to feel like your neighborhood sucked.  The residents that will be attracted to your area will change.  The businesses that already exist in the area will suffer (especially, the original one or two donut shops that have been there the longest).  Ultimately, several of the donut shops won't be able to make ends meet and, once again, you'll have empty storefronts needing tenants.

This is obviously an extreme example, but it gives you an idea of how allowing an over-population of too-similar businesses can affect an entire neighborhood...  and not in a good way. 

If you live and/or work in and around the Ravenswood/Lincoln Square neighborhood, please take a moment to read more about this issue below, and - if you agree - please please sign the petition linked below.  The petition only needs 50 SIGNATURES in order to present it to the 47th Ward Aldreman's office.

Here's the info:

City of Chicago Municipal Code Zoning ordinance requires Salons/ Spas to be at least 1,000 feet away from each other. Currently, SEVEN beauty salons operate between 4700-4950 N. Damen. An appeal has been filed with the city by Saturn Spa, LLC. to open yet another salon/spa at 4845 N. Damen Avenue. They do not meet the 1,000 feet restriction and neighbors in the area want more business diversity to patron, NOT another salon. Please join other local businesses and Lincoln Square/ Ravenswood neighbors to tell Alderman Ameya Pawar that another spa on Damen is not in the best interest of the community.

And here's the link to the PETITION:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/say-no-to-more-salons

Thank you in advance.  Your opinion can help the future success of our neighborhood, for residents and businesses alike.

We love our Sponsors!

Only 4 days until the debut of the Chicago's newest craft show, Show of Hands! We have a seriously amazing group of talented designers and craftspeople selling their wares in a beautiful setting, the show room at the Ravenswood Event Center. 

This show would not be possible without our amazing sponsors!

 

GREER CHICAGO

1657 North Wells, Chicago, IL 60614

We are truly honored to have GREER Chicago participating in this year's show as one of ourIndie Supreme SponsorsChandra Greer (GREER's owner) and her amazing boutique have inspired us on a personal & professional level for years.Chandra's amazing eye for good design, her outstanding business savvy and her exuberant energy are on board are exactly what Show of Hands is all about!

image from Truly Smitten

image from Truly Smitten

ALAPASH HOME & TERRARIUMS

1944 West Montrose Ave., Chicago IL 60613

Walking into Alapash Home & Terrariums is like being transported to a wonderfully lush and cozy sanctuary. Marco Chavarry's shop is filled with beautiful terrariums that he builds himself along with a thoughtfully curated selection of home decor items. Marco will also be a vendor at Show of Hands and you can count on his booth being just as beautiful as the inside of his shop!

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VIRTU 

2034 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

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Virtu is the place where you will find something for someone who has everything. We are so excited to have Julie Horowitz, the owner of Virtu, on board as a sponsor. She keeps her shop stocked with an ever-changing collection of jewelry, home goods, accessories and much more, mostly made by hand by talented artisans. 

MODERN COOPERATIVE

1215 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60608

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Mike and Tiffany, the owners of Modern Cooperative, are collectors and lovers of all things mid-century modern design, re-claimed / re-purposed and vintage. Modern Co-op features an ever-changing collection of thoughtfully-curated mid-century modern furniture and home decor. They also showcase local artists and designers who use recycled and reclaimed materials to design and create a mix of handmade goods ranging from greeting cards, jewelry and bags to tables, desks, credenzas and more. Modern Co-op currently stocks probably almost 1/3 of our Show of Hands vendors so we are very proud to have them as a sponsor!

SQUASHT BY LES

2556 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Squasht by Les creates locally designed and professionally hand-crafted garments and accessories in Chicago, IL. Becoming well known for their signature reversible handmade hats and endlessly wearable vintage-modern style dresses, Squasht is making a name for itself in the independent fashion world. We are excited to have Squasht as a vendor/sponsor and we can't wait to try on all her new styles that she'll have at Show of Hands!

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SUPERMARKET

http://supermarkethq.com/

Supermarket is awesome. It's a curated online marketplace for independent designers to sell their work. You have to be accepted to sell your work, which makes for a highly professional and talented array of artists, which is great for everyone. Several of our vendors sell their work on the Supermarket website so we are very excited to have them involved! 

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MAILCHIMP

www.mailchimp.com

More than 4 million people use MailChimp to create, send, and track email newsletters. It is one of those incredible tools that makes it extremely easy for business owners like those who will be selling their products at Show of Hands to communicate with their mailing list in a professional manner. MailChimp is free for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers, which is great for smaller businesses.

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SQUARE

www.squareup.com

Square readers have, simply put, revolutionized craft shows. Instead of having to deal with awkward and bulky credit card imprinters, now all we have to do is set up an account through Square, connect a square reader to our smart phone, and we can easily take credit card payments with a simple swipe, all with one easy transaction fee of 2.75%. They have now expanded to a more robust application where you can upload inventory and images, which makes for a very smooth checkout system. More and more businesses are using square, including 100% of our vendors. Makes perfect sense that they are a sponsor! 

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Show of Hands Sponsor Spotlight

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Squasht by Les creates locally designed and professionally hand-crafted garments and accessories in Chicago, IL. Becoming well known for their signature reversible handmade hats and endlessly wearable vintage-modern style dresses, Squasht is making a name for itself in the independent fashion world. 

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After five years of being in business and being carried in more than 30 boutiques nationwide, Squasht by Les opened its own storefront in the Ukranian VIllage of Chicago in May 2010. The flagship Squasht by Les store carries the entire Squasht collection as well as a selection of independent designer wares from around the nation. 

 

I now own several dresses from the Squasht by Les line and I wear them repeatedly because they are not only super stylish and well-made but extremely comfortable and flattering! I never fail to get compliments and people always want to know where I got them because they've never seen anything like it! Well, secret's out people! When you shop from an independent line of hand-crafted clothing, you better believe the quality is going to be amazing and the designs will be original and unlike anything you can find elsewhere.

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Squasht by Les is located at 2556 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622.

We are so excited to welcome Squasht by Les as a vendor and sponsor of Show of Hands Chicago.  

Tsubo Fall Fashion Preview

A couple weeks ago, Emily and I checked out the Tsubo Footwear Fall Fashion Preview that took place at Heritage Littles, a new shop/photo studio by the folks at Heritage Bicycles. It was an awesome combo of so many cool businesses. We all got to pick out a pair of sweet Tsubo shoes, then take a picture with them in the Smilebooth to enter to win a custom Heritage bike. (Which, spoiler alert, I WON.) Antique Taco catered the event (holy yums!) and it was also sponsored by Nordstrom. 

Clean Getaway Soap

At the very end of the last day of Summer Renegade this year, the fine folks of Clean Getaway Soap, based out of Denver, ran up to Emily and I and gave us samples of their Sweater Weather soap seen below. Well, not only has it been very much sweater weather here in Chicago lately, I also have been using the soap and it's AWESOME. But the real reason I'm writing a post on it is because we are always excited when an excellent product has superb packaging, and that's exactly what Clean Getaway Soap has done here. The soap sits inside a smartly designed letterpressed box that is so beautiful I still haven't thrown mine away. 

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather

Mahalo

Mahalo

Soap of the Month Club!

Soap of the Month Club!

Show of Hands window display!

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Woven pouches by Biggie Handmade, Soap by Maple Rowe, Michigan letterpress print by Paper Parasol Press, Succulent from Alapash Home & Terrariums, Fruits & Flowers Calendar by Snow & Graham.

Woven pouches by Biggie Handmade, Soap by Maple Rowe, Michigan letterpress print by Paper Parasol Press, Succulent from Alapash Home & Terrariums, Fruits & Flowers Calendar by Snow & Graham.

Candle by Nicolet Candle Co., Chevron pillow by Earth Cadets, Frame by Craftbelly, Chicago letterpress print by Starshaped Press.

Candle by Nicolet Candle Co., Chevron pillow by Earth Cadets, Frame by Craftbelly, Chicago letterpress print by Starshaped Press.

Visit the Show of Hands website to see the rest of the vendor lineup!

What I scored at Renegade!

I didn't go too crazy this year, but of course I'm not going to walk away with nothing! There's always the mad dash when you steal away from your booth for a little bit to see as much as you can and I'm happy with what I got! I purchased from a few artists that I already have stuff from (Souldier guitar strap and Mary Ink shirts) but got some new items from some awesome artists I've met recently! Oh and the adorable little bag that Emily got for me from Nell & Mary. I WILL be buying more of their goods because their stuff is beautiful! P.S. Both soaphappy! and Earth Cadets are Show of Hands vendors! P.P.S. I also just realized that I completely forgot about a trade I did with Michelle Starbuck Designs.  I don't have an image of the pretty necklace I got but I still had to give her a shout out because she's amazing! 

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