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You Can Own a Successful Boutique Without Quitting Your Day Job

 Photo: via Tusk
Photo: via Tusk

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We love an indie boutique around here, so we were excited to see Medill's inside look at Logan Square's Tusk. A little shop talk: Owner Mary Elanor Wallace, who has a day job as a nurse, initially developed the store as an online retailer of vintage goods. She opened her brick-and-mortar store last summer, and describes it as a "a retail space showcasing a curated selection of art objects, clothing, print and locally made pieces."

A big takeaway here: it's never a bad idea to pursue an idea that excites you, and you don't have to go big or home. (That sounds like outdated, Trump-ish logic to us, anyway.) Wallace still has her day job, runs the store part time, and is the sole employee. Last year, her sales were around $9,500.

"It's funny but I wasn't doing this to make a lot of money, I was doing it more as like a creative project," Wallace told Medill. "I'm really enjoying it."

Wallace laid out her store like a gallery, so that shoppers could see everything cleanly laid out as soon as they enter. Furthering the artsy vibe, Wallace collaborates with local designers to create limited-edition lines. Recently, for example, she recently released a collection of silk tops with surface design studio January Prints. Read the complete story here.
· Tusk Offers Customers Unique Mix of Vintage and Locally Made Objects [Medill Reports Chicago]
· Tusk [Official Site]
· January Prints [Official Site]


3205 West Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL