Exhibit | Boutique of the Week | Chicago Reader


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2961 N. Lincoln


Heather Ronkoske belongs to the "just do it" school of business: in June she opened her boutique, Exhibit, despite having no previous experience in retail. "I signed the lease in the middle of April, flew to LA, and just hit the showrooms," she says. "I had no idea what I was doing." The leap of faith extended to her choice of location: a storefront on Lincoln Avenue, a street known more for secondhand stores and bars than boutiques. But so far it's worked out: neighborhood moms, hipsters, and dedicated shop hounds can all find something to their taste (and budget) in Ronkoske's mix. Eschewing basics for pieces with distinctive, feminine details, she's stocked the racks with fitted Artine wool jackets, embroidered and bejeweled cowboy shirts by Ratna, and silky printed kimono tops from To the Max. Jewelry clutters the counter, including Indian-inspired pieces from local line Mera Naam and quartz bracelets by Eye3 Designs. While fashion takes center stage, Ronkoske also exhibits paintings and photographs by local artists on the store's acid green walls--most striking are Colette Hudecek's shadowy black-and-white prints of Barbie and Ken dolls--and there are monthly receptions to showcase new pieces. The next one, featuring photographs by Gil Leora and paintings by Mandy Irwin, is this Saturday, October 22, from 6 to 10 PM; everything in the store will be 20 percent off.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mireya Acierto.


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