Susan Carlson planned for her first business venture, Posh Essentials (658 Central Ave., Highland Park; 847-945-7674, shoppingposh.com), to be a lingerie store. But shortly after opening in mid-April, Carlson, a principal of the company, quickly saw that customers wanted more. “We found that people loved to come in and buy gifts for each other, so we expanded,” she says. Now, while the small, feminine shop still focuses on providing a full array of fashionable basic undergarments—such as the Mary Green “Lost Weekend” cotton and lace boy-short set ($44) and a lavender graphic bra from Huit’s Vertiges collection ($70)—Posh Essentials also carries swimwear, pajamas, robes, spa and yoga apparel, and, of course, gifts, like a Colorado Trading & Clothing bamboo and soy throw ($52). The new business model seems to work: The boutique has only been around for three months, and a second location is set to open in Barrington the first week of August at 104 South Cook Street, Suite B (847-381-0300). “Now that we’re open we feel that we can do the second one even better,” says Carlson, who plans to launch the shops’ e-commerce site this fall. “It’s a little nutty and fast-paced, but I think we can manage it well.”
Top Sales This Week
StyleChicago.com (stylechicago.com) and Beta Boutique (2016 W. Concord Pl.; 773-276-0905, betaboutique.com) host an Escada sample sale preview shopping event, featuring up to 70 percent off more than 8,000 items, and appetizers and drinks at 344 North Ogden Avenue (847-812-2028), Wednesday, July 15th from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets, $25, must be purchased in advance; to order, call 800-838-3006 or visit stylechicago.com. The first 250 guests to RSVP receive a complimentary goody bag. The Escada sample sale is open to the public July 16th and 17th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., July 18th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and July 19th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To benefit Bright Pink (bebrightpink.com), the 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-915-3916, shop900.com) holds a shopping event on Sunday, July 19th from 12 to 6 p.m. Guests receive exclusive discounts, treats, and the opportunity to win raffle prizes. The event also features activities, including a complimentary hour-long yoga class at Lululemon Athletica (lululemon.com), chocolate tasting at Teuscher Chocolates (teuscher.com), and an education seminar on breast and ovarian health. Tickets are $20 in advance via shop900.com/brightpink, or $25 on the day of the event at the level 2 registration desk. Guests may park in the 900 Shops for $10. All event proceeds go to Bright Pink.
Akira (1814 W. North Ave., 773-489-0818; 1849 W. North Ave., 773-342-8684; 1910 W. North Ave., 312-423-6693; akirachicago.com) celebrates seven years with Retrospectacular, featuring fall collections, cocktails, food, and live music on Thursday, July 16, from 4 to 9 p.m. Guests receive 20 percent off and an Akira gift with every purchase. Akira shoppers also get free admission to the after-shopping party at Debonair Social Club (1575 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-227-7990, debonairsocialclub.com.)
The Best of the Rest
- Gem (1710 North Damen Ave.; 773-384-7700, gemjewelryboutique.com) holds its semi-annual sale with 10 to 60 percent off most of its full-price items as well as an additional 10 percent off merchandise already 50 percent off through Sunday, July 19th.
- Purchase a $30 Dollars for Scholars (illinoisdollarsforscholars.org) donation card at The Blues Jean Bar (2210 N. Halsted St.; 773-248-5326, thebluesjeanbar.com) and receive 30 percent off all boutique purchases through August 31st.
- BARQUE (barque.biz), a new fashion line for dogs, launches with a Chicago dog runway fashion show on Wednesday, July 15th from 6 to 8 p.m., at Top Dog Productions (1551 N. Kingsbury St.). The event includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts, and guests have the opportunity to win a BARQUE design. Ticket donations go to PAWS Chicago.
- In celebration of Independence Day and Bastille Day, Porte Rouge (773-269-2800, porterouge.biz) offers free UPS ground shipping on all orders of $75 or more through Tuesday, July 14th.
- Helping Hands Forever holds a Moroccan Night of Luxury, Friday, July 17th from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Shrine (2109 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-753-5700, theshrinechicago.com). The event, held to benefit Connections for Abused Women and their Children (cawc.org), features MGO Fashions and Isabella Designs. Tickets are $55 by July 14th via helpinghandsforever.com or $65 at the door the day of the event.
- The Winnetka Chamber of Commerce (winnetkachamber.com) holds its annual sidewalk sale, featuring jazz music, food, games, discounts from an array of local shops, and more, at the Hubbard Woods, and East and West Elm Street business districts on Friday, July 17th and Saturday, July 18th. For more information, call 847-446-4451 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Material Possessions (704 N. Wabash Ave., 312-280-4885; 954 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, 847-446-8840; materialpossessions.com) holds its semi-annual sale with 20 to 50 percent off jewelry, bedding, placemats, napkins, napkin rings, and bathroom accessories through July 26th.
- The Bucktown location of Halo [For Men] (1655 N. Damen Ave.; 773-342-4256, halochicago.com) offers $15 off of ‘The Man’ service to new clients through Saturday, July 18th.
- The Daisy Shop (67 E. Oak St., sixth floor; 312-943-8880, daisyshop.com) continues its end-of-the-season sale, offering 40 percent off summer clothing and 20 percent off summer accessories, excluding Chanel, Hemes, and Judith Leiber, through Aug. 31st.
- For the first time in more than four years, Kieselstein-Cord (kieselstein-cord.com) holds a Chicago-based sample and stock sale with up to 80 percent off handbags, jewelry, and more, July 14 through 16th from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Ambassador East Hotel (1301 N. State Pkwy; 312-787-7200).
- The Left Bank (1155 W. Webster Ave.; 773-929-7422, leftbankjewelry.com) holds its annual Bastille Day party with storewide discounts and French treats on Tuesday, July 14th.
- Urban Spa Chic (1401 W. Hubbard St.; 312-492-8050, urbanspachic.com) offers 20 percent off to its clients who try a new service through Friday, July 31st.
- Along Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street, Oak Park’s Avenue Business Association (708-763-8451) holds its annual Avenue Sidewalk Sale with discounts at local independent shops, including Fly Bird (719 Lake St.; 708-383-3330, fly-bird.net), July 24th through July 26th. On Saturday, July 25th festivities include a farmers’ market; on Sunday, July 26th look outdoor vendors, artists, and musicians.
- Spex (507 S. Third St., Geneva; 630-397-5900, spexchicago.com) holds the opening reception for its next ART+VISION event on Wednesday, July 15th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event features James Roman Peroni artwork, an Ogi eyewear trunk show, drinks, hors d’oeuvres. Peroni’s work will be on display through August 26th.
- For its five-year anniversary, Mali Jewelry (204 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-263-0326, malijewelry.com) takes 20 percent off all regular priced items throughout July.
- Mario Tricoci (847-202-1900; tricoci.com for locations) offers cellophane services for $25 (regularly $45) this month. Call 847-202-1900 or visit tricoci.com to book your appointment.
- The Drake Hotel (140 E. Walton Pl.; 312-787-2200, thedrakehotel.com), hosts bridal tea at the Palm Court featuring wedding gowns by Vera Wang as well as Joy Scott hats, and Mia Pezzi and TZEN jewelry. Sessions are held on Sunday, July 19th from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., and 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. For reservations, 312-932-4619 or e-mail email@example.com.
- Nordstrom (55 E. Grand Ave., 312-464-1515; 10 Oak Brook Center, Oak Brook, 630-571-2121; 77 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-677-2121; 6 Woodfield Shopping Center, Schaumburg, 847-605-2121; nordstrom.com) kicks off its storewide anniversary sale on Friday, July 17th with discounts on new fall merchandise.