Party On

Three years after working together as event planners at the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza; 800-677-6278, Stephanie Hlinak and Myca Smith wanted to take consulting services to the next level. So the pair opened Event Studio (2027 W. Division St.; 773-227-1122) in Wicker Park last month, housing their services within a retail boutique. “I wanted to have a place where our clients could come and see what we can do,” says Smith, who had been working as a private event consultant out of her home since she left the Mart in 2006. Hlinak and Smith use their 20 years of combined experience to help people find caterers, venues, entertainment, and floral companies for events ranging from intimate get-togethers to big corporate events. “We can do everything from start to finish, tailoring to a specific event,” Smith says. “Or we can be hired for only one day.” On the retail end, Event Studio carries customized invitations, stationery, entertaining and etiquette books, gifts, and accessories. Right now, you’ll find a Notre Monde bedside table lamp with a bird silhouette ($168), MOR cucumber- and casaba-scented soaps ($16) and body butters ($26), as well as a line of initialed accessories from Mud Pie, including a cutting board ($20) and bottle topper ($10). Through June, new shoppers get 10 percent off their first retail purchase.

Top Sales This Week

More than 20 shops, including She One (3402 N. Southport Ave.; 773-549-9698 and Tula (3738 N. Southport Ave.; 773-549-2876,, participate in the Southport Summer Stroll Friday, June 26th from 5 to 8 p.m. In addition to store specials, the event features free refreshments and live music.

Caroline DeVillo Couture ( hosts a Bucktown bridal event featuring the latest merchandise from Gem (, Crosell & Co. (, Luscious Layers (, and other local shops on Tuesday, June 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m. at Chaise Lounge (1840 W. North Ave.). To RSVP, call 773-661-0700 or e-mail

Ciao Bella (3829 N. Southport Ave.; 773-388-2201, holds its annual summer morning sale on Saturday, June 27th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Discounts decrease by the hour, but shoppers receive an additional 10 percent off sale merchandise all morning.

The Best of the Rest

  • Epoch Floral (1700 W. Hubbard St.; 312-226-2968, holds the first of four summer floral design courses, titled “Hand tie it!” on Wednesday, June 24th from 3 to 5 p.m. For $150 each, participants learn how to arrange flowers and foliage in their hands. The fee covers in-class supplies and two take-home arrangements in vases.
  • In collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Jeweler’s Center at the Mallers Building (5 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-853-2057, holds a building-wide open house with 21 floors of jewelers on Wednesday, June 24th from 12 to 8 p.m. The Jeweler’s Center will donate $10 per guest to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, and attendees may enter to win a 1.04-carat diamond ring. Call 312-424-2664 or e-mail; RSVP by tomorrow.
  • The W Chicago (644 N. Lake Shore Dr., 312-943-9200; 172 W. Adams St., 312-332-1200; offers its annual summer play package, featuring a room for the night, parking, and two cocktails starting at $189, through September 8th.
  • Leslie Hindman Auctioneers (1338 W. Lake St.; 312-280-1212, features more than 200 early American, Continental, and English frames at its antique frame auction on Wednesday, June 24th.
  • In celebration of its one-year anniversary, À Pied (2037 W. Roscoe St.; 773-281-2210, features live music, snacks, Champagne and French martinis on Friday, June 26th from 6 to 10 p.m. Attendees can pop balloons for discount coupons worth up to 50 percent off their purchase.
  • Tula (3738 N. Southport Ave.; 773-549-2876, holds its second annual summer accessories bazaar with jewelry, handbags, and scarves from Chan Luu, Alexis Bittar, and more, in its outdoor courtyard, June 26th through 28th.
  • Closed for renovations since last August, Ultra Diamonds holds its grand re-opening Thursday, June 25th (101 S. State St.; 312-641-1109, Shoppers who stop by the new store that day receive an 18-inch strand of fresh water pearls.
  • Krista K (3458 N. Southport Ave.; 773-248-1967, takes up to 50 percent off spring and summer merchandise.
  • Spex (29 E. Madison St.; 312-782-4208, holds a ProDesign trunk show Friday, June 26th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees may enter to win a free gift from ProDesign.
  • Hubba-Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414, takes 20 percent off all dresses June 25th through July 3rd.
  • Robin Richman (2108 N. Damen Ave.; 773-278-6150, holds an opening reception for an “I Am Famous” art sale, featuring items from Mike Famous for less than $350, Thursday, June 25th from 6 to 8 p.m. The first 25 guests receive a limited edition autographed postcard. The sale goes through July 25th. Also, the store offers up to 75 percent off spring clothing and shoes.