Photograph: Sean Mikula

Lisa Muscato and Sean Murt

Ukrainian Villagers and one-time high-school sweethearts Lisa Muscato and Sean Murt (she’s an artist, he’s a graphic designer) had long wanted to create a place in the nabe where artists and other locals could hang out and interact (and perhaps make a purchase or two). That's how Paperish Mess (1955 W. Chicago Ave.) was born.

Though the doors opened just a few months ago, their mission has been accomplished. The store offers original artwork and handmade goods (most are in the $20-to-$50 range) by more than 75 independent artists. There are fun pillows from Hello, Sleepywhale, “birch bark” porcelain pieces by Digit Design, and more. In addition to the storefront, Paperish Mess also hosts art exhibits and community–centered events.