Willow | Boutique of the Week | Chicago Reader


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Amy Doehla spent so much time in the restaurant and bar biz that she's probably served everyone reading this, but a year ago she decided that Weldon, her line of minimalist silver jewelry and pliant leather handbags, could spend no more time on the back burner. Her stuff had been selling "incredibly well" at StinkerBelle on Division, but then it closed down. Her friend Karen Brody, an aesthetician working there, suggested they open a new place together. "For a moment," Doehla says, "it seemed like a good idea."

In that moment she took a look at Tatine's old space on Damen, around the corner from StinkerBelle. The ceiling was the exact shade of green she'd envisioned in a store of her own, and the kind of old schoolhouse lights she wanted were already installed. She and Brody promptly signed a lease, and Willow had its grand opening the weekend of October 21.

Doehla sells more than her own wares; she says her taste is a mix of ye-olde and new, "kind of all over the place." Offerings include Cerealart's limited-edition, candy-colored oversize ceramic cookie jars in the shape of a cartoon bunny, reproductions of antique French drinking glasses, rustic leather-covered journals, Ige's suit-fabric pillows screened with metallic ink, mirrors with cutouts of an eye patch and parrot so that when you look at yourself you appear as a pirate, vintage leather belts and handmade belt buckles of layered resin, and a stack of three tiny ivory egg-shaped plates tied up with twine. Plus she has candles and beauty products, and the art on the walls is for sale. Almost everything's on the low side of somewhere between $9 and $400. And Brody does facials, aromatherapy, and waxing in the back.

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


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