Decoratus absurdum.

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“Decoratus absurdum”. This is the design mantra behind Foursided boutique. I sat down with co-founder and owner of Foursided boutiques, Gino Pinto and store manager (and artist!), Aidie Janci to find out more about my go to store in the city for gifts, jewelry, cards, the list goes on. My favorite part about shopping at Foursided is that no matter how many times you go in there (and in my case, it’s a lot!), you never know what new, local artist you’re going to discover or what piece of antique dishware is going to pop at you. Gino, Aidie and I chatted and laughed in the quiet, shady spot behind their Lakeview location. Here’s the scoop I got:counter

Tell me about yourself. How did you get started?
The concept began in 2001 when Co-owners and founders Todd Mack and Gino Pinto decided to utilize their different professional backgrounds (Todd in framing, Gino in business), which allowed them to seamlessly and successfully build what was once a simple frame shop into a 3 store (and coming soon: gallery) Chicago staple.

The original location opened on Broadway in Lakeview as a picture framing shop. The second location, (also in Lakeview) on Clark has more of a gifting focus (cards, art, vintage) and is managed by Aidie. The third location, also on Clark St. but in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, combines the two ideas into their largest location.

Pinto and Janci attribute much of the store’s success to social media attention. That and a great relationship with customers. Pinto says the idea for the stores is, “more of an art than a science”. The team wants to provide shoppers with, “things that are accessible. Not high end but not low end. There’s something for everyone!” says Janci.

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How would you describe the mood of Foursided?

A recent remodel of the Lakeview Clark Street location has allowed for a more open, airy environment for shoppers and employees. Colors have been updated and the store is easier to move around in, helping the customer feel more comfortable and not like they’re going to knock down a teacup tower with their yoga mat.

There is also an art exhibit space going in next door, scheduled to open this week (a celebratory opening and 10 year anniversary party is happening Friday, July 17th! Go check it out, I’ll be there!) Local artist Ben Holiday’s work will be on display at the event. Pinto also has plans for the new gallery space to function as extra retail space around the holidays. I’m salivating at the thought of an entire space filled with the gorgeous offerings Foursided usually has around the holidays –helloooo vintage Christmas ornaments!

How do you want your shopper to feel when they leave your store?

“We want them to feel excited and inspired” says Janci. She and Pinto want shoppers to get that spark of curiosity that can happen when wandering through a store. They want their customers to get lost –in a good way.

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What inspires you?

AJ: “I’m an artist, I’m always making things. I’m inspired by active people. People doing and making things”. GP: “Prints. Learning new things” Currently, he’s taking a print and letterpress class at The Chicago Printmakers Collaborative once a week.

What are some of your favorite pieces at the moment?
Lucky horse press (Gino likes the prints), Methane Studios (Foursided is the only store in Chicago that carries their work), Human Shaped Robot prints (hand screen printed pieces), Star Shaped Press, Love Emily D, Kelly Parsell, Crash Candles (local suburban candlemaker), Snow and Graham, and The Found

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Who are some local artists you work with?

Pinto tries to carry a Chicago artist in every department, and they work with a lot of Chicago printmakers and jewelry makers and carry their pieces in store. Another awesome element is that you can find a lot of employee art in store as well. Just recently, a birthday card was being passed around my office and on the artist on the back was very familiar!
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What are some of your favorite vintage shops? Flea Markets?

Janci and Pinto know their way around a vintage shop, which is why I asked them for their sage advice. Some of their favorite hot spots are: Grayslake Antique Market, The Pink Elephant Mall near Springfield, Vintage Garage, Edgewater Antique Market, Renegade Craft Fair, Randolph Street Market and estate sales around the city and suburbs

“We need to treasure the things we have. There’s this idea to edit, edit, edit”, says Pinto. As a very type-A person who loves to edit, edit, edit, its a good reminder to walk into a place like Foursided and get a little lost.

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Something I should’ve posted weeks ago! :/

tonesHey team!

This post is a long time coming, apologies for my absence!

Here’s a little picture recap of a Windy City Bloggers-sponsored event at Jenny Yoo. It was a bridal-focused event and though I am not getting married any time soon, it was fun to browse the beautiful dresses, sample desserts, take pictures in their photo booth and mingle and meet new friends! Hi, Rick and Jennifer!

Enjoy 🙂

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Thursday Things

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photo via WhatRUWearing

Hello!

Here’s another installment of Thursday things, hope you enjoy! 🙂

1. Windy City Blogger Collective “Delsholidayshop” fashion recap– Farissa Knox of WhatRUWearing breaks down the fashion trends and highlights at Monday’s WCBC Holiday Soiree.

2. DIY gift wrap- I’m always drawn to gift wrapping that’s beyond the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fun roll of wrapping paper, but I also enjoy the personal touch that DIY adds. You can even use scraps from old rolls of paper that may not be large enough to wrap a whole gift (my mom knew what she was doing, saving all that wrapping paper…). Here is some inspiration I found: here and here.

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photo via Gray Malin

 

3. I am always inspired by photographer Gray Malin and in his latest blog post, he recaps his trip to Antarctica, completing his goal of traveling to all seven continents. I love how he adds a certain unexpected element to his work, like sparkly balloons or a blow up swan raft in the middle of the Antarctic.

4. Blake Lively’s site, Preserve– Especially this post about herbal steams. Whenever I was sick, my mom would give me one of these to clear out my sinuses, and it always worked. Now, I like to do one when I just need to relax, its very soothing. Recently, I was catching up on old issues of Vogue and came across Blake Lively’s interview in the August issue. While I am already in the “I want to hate Blake Lively but I can’t because she’s so darn likable” camp, this interview made me adore her even more and moved me to check out her site, Preserve. While one can help but compare it to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (which people love to hate on), it is refreshingly different and features actual, attainable things. Check it out for yourself!

Recap: WCBC Holiday Shopping Soiree!

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Monday night I attended a beautiful Holiday Soiree, thrown by the Windy City Blogger Collective and hosted by Del Frisco’s Steakhouse in the Gold Coast. Right when we walked in, my friend, Agnes (its her birthday today! Happy Birthday Aggie!!) and I were immediately greeted by a waiter offering us champagne –which got the night started right! The space was gorgeous: high, architectural ceilings; two-story wine cabinets, warm lighting and inviting chit-chat. It was the perfect place to have a holiday party.

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There were so many things to see and so many fabulous people to mingle with! Guests could shop for anyone on their list with gifts from The Tie Bar, Kalla flowers, Shop 857, DreamDry blowdry bar, Benefit Cosmetics, The Trendy Sparrow and Vo Jewelry (I won one of her pieces from a Windy City Bloggers giveaway a while back, and I absolutely love it!).

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It was a super fun event and a great way to continue to celebrate the holiday season! Thanks Windy City Bloggers!

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Thursday Things

Hello!

I’ve decided I’m going to try a new installment on the blog, called Thursday Things. Just a quick little list of a few things I’m excited about for the week. So here goes:

1. NPR book list– This is a list of NPR’s staff and critics favorites from 2014. I can almost hear my book list getting longer…

2. This Chanel video- Karl Lagerfeld (the creative director of Chanel) dreamed up this gorgeous short film, starring model Cara Delevingne and Pharrell, called Reincarnation. The story centers around the evolution of the iconic Chanel jacket. Its really fun and fashion-y. Watch!

3. WCBC Holiday Shopping Soiree!- Next Monday, December 8th, is the Windy City Blogger Collective holiday shopping soiree. Its 100% free to attend and everyone is invited. The party is being held at Del Frisco’s and guests are invited to shop gifts from tons of awesome sponsors like: DreamDry, Benefit and The Tie Bar. I’m super psyched to go and find some gifts for a few people on my list. Or myself. Either way.

Be sure to RSVP to events@zapwater.com if you’d like to attend! See you there! Details below:

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4. Pantone 2015 color of the year is…..Marsala! What is Marsala you ask? Pantone describes it as an “naturally robust and earthy wine red” color. I know, I immediately thought of Chicken Marsala too. Its different. I can definitely see this color popping up on a Pottery Barn couch or two next year. I like the depth and warmth of the color and how its almost a neutral. I do love a good neutral.
5. Serial Podcast– Guys. Serial. Be about it. Its fascinating. Its an NPR podcast told in weekly, hour long installments, from the creators of This American Life. Sadly, Ira Glass does not narrate this one, but holy smokes is it addicting.
Happy weekend everyone! Headed to Minneapolis tomorrow to start looking for apartments –hope I find my dream home 😉

A SERIOUS Holiday Giveaway!

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Hi team! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday! As a special kick off for the holidays, I’m excited to announce that I’m a part of a really awesome holiday giveaway with some other amazing Chicago bloggers.

We’ve compiled some srsly covetable gifts and get this: you have three chances to win one of these crammed-full-of-goodness holiday baskets!

All of the girls involved in the giveaway were invited to find something special to contribute. First, I decided to gift a TOMS for Target notebook set. I love that Target is partnering with TOMS for the holiday season. Why not get a gift for someone that also gives back to someone in need? Second, I  found a cute hand-painted wishbone ornament from Twosided boutique in Lakeview. I absolutely love that store. Its the perfect place to get gifts, seriously. One stop shopping over there.

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Here is a complete list of everything you can win in the “Social Butterfly” basket –the one that my gift is featured in:

Gift Basket #2 [ retail $250 ] // For the Social Butterfly

Zara light blue scarf from Fancy Nancista

DIY Terrarium Kit from Fancykins

Vans infinity scarf from Style by Joules

Kate Spade bow stud earrings from Rachelle Smiles

RuME Shop Crossbody Tab bag from Erica Finds

$25 gift card to Crossroads Trading Company from Belle Meets World

Adult Hed Banz gameJazz and ’90s CD & party invitations from Debbie Donato

Sephora glossy lip pencils set from 101 Things I Love

Toms for Target notebook set & wishbone ornament [ via Twosided Boutique ] from JLa-Di-Da

Garance Doré 2015 Les Femmes Calendar from B Chic B Glamorous

Enter the giveaway here!: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What’s in the other two baskets you ask? Hop on over to any of the blogs below to check out the other amazing gifts and be sure to enter to win! GOOD LUCK!

The Purge!

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Last week I traveled over to my friend Andrea’s house for an evening of judging her clothing and giving her advice on what she should and shouldn’t keep in her closet.

To kick off the evening, she cooked a fabulous dinner served in equally fabulous dish ware and I proceeded to gorge myself. It was just lovely!

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We log rolled over to Andrea’s closet and began the purge, dividing the questionable items into a “heck no” pile and a “try on” pile. She was able to argue her case for things in these piles, if she really wanted to keep them. Andrea also wanted to change around her personal style and focus more on polished pieces that accentuated her assets and gave her a more professional look, as she recently got promoted.

Throughout the whole clean out, we kept a few questions in mind. If you’re thinking of doing a serious clean out of your closet, be sure to keep the following things in mind:

1. Does this fit my personal style or what I would like my personal style to be?

2. Would I rather keep this item or would I rather have the space in my closet for something new?

3. Is it super worn down, pilly or ripped?

4. Have you worn it in the past year? If not, you probably won’t ever…

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before!

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molly- the casual observer

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after!

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