While studying fashion at the International Academy of Design and Technology, Rachel Bommer realized she needed a change. “In fashion school, I burned out quickly,” says the 26-year-old Chicagoland native. “So I switched to jewelry design, which gave me a more instant gratification and the ability to control every aspect of my art.” Four years ago and less than a year after changing her focus, Bommer won Macy’s Distinction in Design competition for her timeless, affordable earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. She launched her company, Rach B Jewelry (815-218-6821, shoprachb.com) by early 2007. Bommer’s most recent collection, called Seaside, features single drop faceted mother of pearl earrings with a sterling silver- or 14K gold-fill ($70); a yellow turquoise pendant with mother of pearl, blue agate, and olive jade 27-inch necklace with a sterling silver- or 14K gold-fill ($180); and kyanite multi-stone earrings with sterling silver- or 14K gold-fill ($145). For Mother’s Day, Rach B vintage pieces—such as a baby booties charm with freshwater pearl accents on 14K gold-fill chain ($95) and a pearl heart pendant on 14K gold-fill ball chain ($85)—will be featured at Nat & Helen’s (3125 N. Broadway; 773-525-4030, natandhelens.com) through Sunday, May 9th. Bommer’s pieces can also be found at 16 Chicagoland boutiques throughout the year; for locations or online shopping, visit shoprachb.com.
Top Sales This Week
The 76th annual School of the Art Institute student fashion show (saic.edu/fashionshow) returns to the Art Institute (159. E. Monroe St.; 312-899-7484), with three presentations on Friday, May 7th. The 2 p.m. general admission show has already sold out, but tickets are still available for the gala scholarship show at 6 p.m. ($500) and the new late-night event, NightWalk 2010 ($100). For tickets to the gala, call 312-899-1439; for tickets to NightWalk, call 312-899-7484.
Along Halsted Street from Armitage Avenue to Webster Street, more than 12 Lincoln Park retailers participate in this year’s Mother’s Day promotion on Friday, May 7th through Sunday, May 9th. Attendees receive special promotions, gifts, and more, such as 15 percent off handbags from African Sanctuary (2205 N. Halsted St.; 773-306-8646), throughout the weekend.
The Best of the Rest
- Equinox (for locations, equinox.com) offers deals through Sunday, May 9th. Enjoy a 50-minute facial and 50-minute massage ($79 each or $150 for the combination package), and a three-pack of 50-minute massages ($235). Guests who buy spa services have access to the fitness club on the day of their appointments.
- For Mother’s Day, Lands’ End Shop at Sears in Oak Brook Mall (100 Oak Brook Center; 630-575-1650, landsend.com) features free mini spa services, giveaways, drawings, swimsuit fittings, and refreshments on Thursday, May 6th from 6 to 9 p.m. The first 150 guests receive a free Lands’ End tote.
- The Downtown Highland Park Alliance presents its “Shop Local Challenge” through Monday, May 31st. The 20 shoppers who shop at the most area retailers during the month will receive a $100 Highland Park gift card. To enter, save receipts from all downtown Highland Park purchases made from May 1st to May 31st and mail them to the Alliance by Friday, June 11th. All entrants receive a complimentary gift.
- Enjoy medical spa services for $99 in May, during PrettyCity.com’s 4th annual medspa month. For a list of participating spas and their discounted services, visit medspamonth.com.
- Robin Richman (2108 N. Damen Ave.; 773-278-6150, robinrichman.com) holds a Gary Graham event with discounts and the opportunity to meet the New York City-based designer on Saturday, May 8th from 5 to 8 p.m.
- Brides-to-be may benefit from Image Envy at Loft on Lake (loftonlake.com) Thursday, May 6th from 6 to 9 p.m. The wedding planning event features a bridal couture fashion show, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, door prizes, and more. Tickets are $15 in advance online at loftonlake.com or $20 at the door.
- Stella Boutique (2116 Central St., Evanston; 847-864-5565, stellaevanston.com) features a Broad Street jewelry trunk show through Saturday, May 8th. The line’s designer, Sara Bradstreet, will be in the boutique on Thursday, May 6th from 2 to 6 p.m.
- Jo Malone (jomalone.com), the perfume brand, opens a lifestyle boutique at Nordstrom Oak Brook (10 Oakbrook Center, Oakbrook; 630-571-2121) this month.
- The “I Just Said, ‘Yes!’” package at the Park Hyatt Chicago (800 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-335-1234, parkchicago.hyatt.com) includes an overnight stay; two tickets to the Chicago History Museum’s “I Do! Chicago Ties the Knot”; two glasses of Champagne at NoMI Lounge; two manicures and paraffin hand treatments at Tiffani Kim at the Park; a one-year subscription to a bridal publication; and a bridal wardrobe consultation with Danielle Lutz of ShopWalk. To book the package (from $400), call 312-335-1234 or visit parkchicago.hyatt.com.
- Neiman Marcus (737 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-642-5900, neimanmarcus.com) holds several trunk shows this week. Find the latest collection from John Hardy on Wednesday, May 5th. Agnona’s fall line, Stephen Webster jewelry, and new items from Slane & Slane and Verdura are on display Thursday, May 6th. Verdura is also featured on Friday, May 7th, along with jewelry from Ippolita and Ashley Pittman. The week ends with classic and modern collections from David Yurman on Saturday, May 8th.