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Meet Laurie Davis, owner of Lulu's at the Belle Kay in North Center—Chicago's quintessential bedroom community off the Brown Line at Irving Park. Over the past ten years, this Racked 38 Member has earned the reputation for being one of the great vintage stores in the United States. In her shop that carries an unparalleled selection of jewelry and apparel from the 1920's through the 1980's, Laurie has created and maintained a client list that would make most retailers cry—and it's about to get bigger. As Laurie readies herself to begin the next chapter of business, we sit down with her in a papered storefront on the third level of a The 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue, where next Tuesday, March 5, she will open Lulu's on The Avenue. Here, while perched on an silver Italian pinched velvet settee-conversational, amongst a dozen-or-so glass towers and display cases filled with python and Italian leather bags, unique beaded contemporary jewelry and dramatic vintage pieces, Laurie lets us in on why she opened a second store, solely for accessories.
"Ten years between two store openings," Laurie says, "that's interesting to me because it's not something that I thought I was ever going to do. I was missing a huge piece of business; the tourist traffic. And when I started watching what Burberry was doing and Louboutin, I thought; wow, these people are doing their research. It's an expensive venture and the timing had to be right, but once I could wrap my head around doing it then I moved forward quickly."
And because Laurie's eye for clothing is equally discerning, we ask if she's given thought to bringing a few pieces to the Gold Coast. She says, "Right now we're not doing the clothes, but if things go well down here for us, and we're in a good spot next year then we'll reconsider."
· Lulu's at the Belle Kay to Open Second Store in Gold Coast [Racked]
· Lulu's at the Belle Kay [Official Site]