At Home with Ani Afshar

When the local jewelry designer Ani Afshar closed her eight-year-old Lincoln Park boutique in March, she already had a back-up plan in place: The collection would remain available online but, as an alternative to maintaining a costly retail storefront, Afshar would open her studio for appointments. Located in Logan Square, Afshar’s new “at home” boutique, Ani Afshar Studio Boutique (3224 W. Altgeld St; 773-645-8922,, opened on May 1st. “I never wanted to sell my items online only,” says Afshar, who maintained her commerce Web site during the two-month hiatus. “They are one-of-a-kind pieces, so it’s better to see them in person, and I enjoy the personal interaction with my clients.” Ranging from $42 to $200, her jewelry includes a flower-shaped pin with gray beaded “petals” and red, yellow, green, and orange jewels in the center ($120); a turquoise, black, and clear beaded necklace, with hanging jewels and lace ($130); and a pale blue jewel double layered necklace ($140). In addition to featuring couture and casual necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pins, Afshar is bringing back her weavings—decorative wall hangings made from hand-dyed silk thread—which haven’t been available at retail for about 12 years; guests can now find creations in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes ($1,200 and up). Now through May 9th, the Ani Afshar Studio Boutique is open from noon to 6 p.m. for walk-in visits; after that, shoppers may call for personal appointments.

Top Sales This Week

The Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, floors 15, 16, and 17; 800-677-6278, hosts an outdoor furniture sample sale with up to 75 percent off outdoor home furnishings and accessories at participating showrooms, including Agio, Lloyd Flanders, Mallin, RockWood Casual Furniture, and more. Sale starts May 11 and continues through 15th, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Michigan Avenue’s newest eco-spa Renew (980 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-526-3891) holds its grand opening party with complimentary mini manicures, pedicures, and facials; 30-minute massages; lip and eyebrow waxing; make-up artistry; massages; and cocktails, May 7th from 6 to 9 p.m. The event also features eco-friendly designs from Roslyn (2035 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-1311,

Neiman Marcus ( holds a grand opening for its first Illinois Last Call Center (6108 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee; 847-855-2036, May 8th at 10 a.m. The new store offers up to 55 percent off original Neiman Marcus merchandise, and shoppers who use their Neiman Marcus charge card get an additional 5 percent off.

The Best of the Rest

  • To benefit the Glass Slipper Project, Material Possessions (704 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-280-4885, hosts its Brides and Baubles shopping event with drinks and snacks, May 6th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is also a launch party for Erin Gallagher’s new custom jewelry line. Guests are asked to donate gently used dresses and accessories. Those who spend more than $100 receive 20 percent off their purchase. RSVP to Meanwhile, the suburban location of Material Possessions (954 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka; 847-446-8840) holds an Erin Gallagher jewelry trunk show May 9th.
  • Purchase a bouquet of flowers from Larkspur (2123 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-2898, and receive 20 percent off vases at Virtu (2034 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-3790,, or purchase a vase from Virtu and receive 20 percent off bouquets at Larkspur, through May 17th.
  • Zola Jones (1944 W. Montrose Ave.; 773-275-1845, holds its three-year anniversary sale where shoppers receive 20 percent off new bags or receive a free clutch with each bag purchase, May 1st through 9th.
  • The East Pilsen boutique Under the Wire (2210 S. Halsted St.; 312-733-9350, offers custom pen, pencil, ink, and watercolor portraits (5 inches by 7 inches) by Anne Farley Gaines, starting at $25, May 8th from 3 to 10 p.m., and May 9th from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Bedside Manor Ltd. (2056 N. Halsted St.; 773-404-2020) launches Kindel fine furniture with drinks, snacks, and a raffle for a Kindel giveaway, May 7th from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Target launches its first Midwest pop-up store—called the Target Bullseye Bazaar (—May 7th through 9th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 445 North Michigan Avenue. The event will showcase creations from the company’s design partners in fashion and accessories, home, and beauty.
  • Bellini (1800 N. Clybourn Ave.; 312-981-6301, offers 20 percent off in-stock Bob strollers through May 10th.
  • On May 9th from 12 to 5 p.m., Explore Fulton Market (312-226-7808, holds its seasonal open house with a range of savings from local galleries, boutiques, and restaurants along Fulton Market and Lake Street from Ogden Avenue to Halsted Street.
  • SHE Boutique (483 Central Ave., Highland Park; 847-926-0150, offers a 25 percent discount to online shoppers who enter code “MOTHERSDAY” at checkout on May 8th through 10th.
  • To celebrate its second location, g boutique (1451 W. Fullerton Ave.; 773-235-1234, holds a grand opening weekend event with lingerie, Champagne, cake, chocolate, and flowers, May 7th through 9th.
  • Exhale Spa (945 N. State St.; 312-753-6500, offers 25 percent off its lift, magic, and power facials through June 30th. To receive the discount, use code “inside5609” when booking an appointment online or visit to print out coupon to present at check out.
  • Halo [For Men] recently opened a new location at 70 West Madison Street (312-606-4256). The men’s salon and spa opens another location, four blocks west, at 500 West Madison Street (312-575-0102), inside the Ogilvy Train Station on May 8th. Both salons will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • For Mother’s Day, Urban Spa Chic (1401 W. Hubbard St.; 312-492-8050, holds a variety of events this weekend, including a free mini makeup application with any massage or facial and a complimentary continental brunch May 9th and 10th.
  • Leslie Hindman Auctioneers (1338 W. Lake St.; 312-280-1212, holds its fine furniture and decorative arts auction, May 5th and 6th at 12 p.m.
  • Celebrating 10 years, Randoons (962 1⁄2 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka; 847-784-1890) offers 15 percent off purchases and other in-store incentives May 7th through May 9th.
  • Nicholas Joseph Custom Tailors ( recently opened a third location at 70 West Madison Street (312-895-1577), inside the new Halo [For Men]. Call to make appointments for measurements and consultations.
  • The housewares and accessories boutique Fly Bird (719 Lake St., Oak Park; 708-383-3330, celebrates five years with refreshments, discounts up to 30 percent off, and a gift with every purchase, May 8th from 6 to 9 p.m. The shop also hosts an Edgy Petal jewelry trunk show May 9th from 1 to 4 p.m., and offers 10 percent off everything in the store May 10th.
  • Greenheart Shop (746 N. LaSalle Dr.; 312-264-1625, holds a fair trade high tea party with several varieties of tea, scones, and finger sandwiches, May 9th from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to donate $10 to $15. RSVP to or call 312-264-1625.
  • Hubba-Hubba (3309 N. Clark St.; 773-477-1414, holds a Jess L.C. Jewelry trunk show, featuring Jess Lynne Constable’s sterling silver and gold-filled collection, May 9th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The spring trunk show series at Florodora (330 S. Dearborn St., 312-212-8860, continues with Kathy Frey on May 8th and Kate Boggiano May 15th. Both shows take place from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and include complimentary wine.
  • Art Effect (934 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-929-3600, offers free shipping to online shoppers who spend more than $50 through May 10th.
  • Neiman Marcus (737 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-642-5900, hosts a Lana Jewelry trunk show with an appearance by the local designer Lana Bramlette (formerly Fertelmeister), May 9th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers who spend more than $2,500 receive a 24-karat gold candle by Lana Jewelry.

Closings and Relocations

  • Porte Rouge (1911 W. Division St.; 773-269-2800, closed its doors May 4th.
  • Although Lincoln Park’s DNA 2050 (2122 N. Halsted St.; 773-525-8004) closed May 3rd, the boutique plans to open a location at 900 North Michigan Avenue this fall.