Maggie (left) and Jennifer Gelber
As children growing up in Winnetka, sisters Maggie and Jennifer Gelber dreamed of one day opening their own store. “We’ve talked about it for as long as we can remember,” Jennifer says.
Earlier this year, the two flew to New York to attend the apparel trade shows, planning to open a clothing boutique in two years. “We were so excited on the flight home we said, ‘Let’s do it right now,’” recalls Maggie, 23, a graduate of the University of Iowa. Six months later, on August 1st, they opened their shop, which runs the gamut from work-appropriate wear to going-out apparel. It features one aspect that’s often missing in Chicago shops: clothing for both sexes. “There aren’t that many men’s stores in Chicago so we decided to add that aspect to it,” says Jennifer, 25, a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The mix of designers includes both underground and established names. For women, they stock Nightcap Clothing’s line of simple cotton tees; the Olsen twins’ clothing line, Elizabeth and James; and Grace Sun, who used to work for Phillip Lim. “She’s more affordable and has just as much attention to detail in her work,” Maggie says. For men, the sisters carry beyond-basic lines such as Vince and Generra. “We want them to feel comfortable but take the style a little out of their comfort zone,” Maggie says of their men’s selections.
So what drew the sisters to the Fulton Market neighborhood, which is still proving itself as a retail destination? Says Maggie: “We knew we wanted a destination shop.”
WHERE 1101 W. Fulton Market; 312-226-4565, shopfixchicago.com
PRICE RANGE $28 for a scarf to $1,000 and up for fine jewelry; average price point is between $200 and $300
EXCLUSIVES Generra for men and women, Nightcap Clothing, Corpus, and a new line of jackets from Aether
PARKING Manageable on weekends and weekdays after 3 p.m., when the meat-packers are shut down and free spots open up. Otherwise, try Lake Street.
Photograph: Kendall Karmanian