New Chicago Boutique - a Handbag Lover's Paradise!

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  1. So I was reading the November issue of Lucky mag a little while ago, and came across an article that listed several specialty shops and boutiques in and around Chicago. The stores were listed by area. In the West Loop (a block away from Oprah's Harpo Studio!) is a new little boutique called Bess & Loie. Only a short distance from where I work, I decided to stop by one afternoon and was so excited at what I found.

    Tucked away underneath the el tracks in what used to be a kitchen-equipment wholesaler, is a Handbag Lover's Paradise! Everywhere you look - hanging on racks, displayed on benches & chairs, even scattered in little displays on the floor - is a wide selection of Hayden Harnett, Linea Pelle, Not Rationale, Dautore, and a few other relatively unknown, but up and coming handbag designers. There's also a fairly large selection of unique jewelry and other small accessories.

    The store's owner is a very friendly young lady named Ally, who greets each customer as they walk in offering them a nice beverage. She even has a nice little sitting area in the back with a TV set for husbands, boyfriends, and other companions who may have been brought there against their will!

    There's something for everyone here - a variety of colors, styles and materials at every price. While most bags are full retail price, there is a markdown section with new bags added every day. I purchased a Linea Pelle bag which I've viewed many times online but was always unsure of having never seen one IRL. I even bought the matching wallet after Ally, very generously, offered to discount it for me. I signed her Registry and received a Thank You note in the mail about a week later, and have been added to her online, email list.

    If you live in the Chicago area, or plan to visit anytime soon, I encourage you to stop by - The store is located at 1015 W. Lake Street and this is the website: (no online shopping - just location & email info). If you're like me (as I'm sure most PF'ers are!), you'll think you've died and gone to Handbag Heaven!!!

    I give the store :tup::tup::tup::tup:
  2. I'll be in Chicago in January and will most def. check it out. Btw, how were the discounted prices?
  3. they varied depending on the bag/style/designer - for example, she had the Not Rationale "Connor" bag (which I've seen online before & think is a very cool design!) which originally sells for $550, and I think her markdown was $3-something.

    It was also great to view many of HH's new styles which I've seen online, but have never seen IRL. It actually caused me to change my mind about a couple of styles I saw that I liked online, but didn't care once I saw them, and ones I didn't like online but really liked in person (I LOVE the Sonia tote & Pastis Frame bags!!)
  4. I'm starting my new job on Monday (in the loop) and haven't bought a tote yet so perhaps I'll pay them a visit soon. HH's Sonia was one of my considerations, and I was just going to write to ask if they had it!

    iluvmybags, do you think the Sonia would hold up to a Chicago winter? What do you like about it and what changed your mind after seeing it in person? Remind me, please, what bags you carry to work. I seem to remember that we have similar taste.
  5. That sounds like my kind of boutique - not only to shop at, but also to run/own (my dream, if I weren't stuck in this desk job :sweatdrop:) I'll have to check it out next time I'm in Chicago. Maybe next time your'e there you can encourage them to go online or, at a minimum, take orders over the phone?
  6. I received an email from Bess & Loie regarding a Holiday Party the store is hosting on Thursday, 11/29 from 6-9pm. She's calling it the "largest trunk show ever"!! Here's additional info:

    SAVE THE DATE!!!! Thursday, Nov 29 6-9 PM

    Its Bess & Loie's "I'm not sure what to call this so I'm calling it a Holiday Bazaar until I come up with a better name" Holiday Party!It's almost like the largest trunk show EVER!Put your shopping shoes on and get all of your holiday shopping done in one fell swoop!We're going to be featuring our favorite local designers in the store that night, and we'll have our own discounts too....more to come on that later

    FeaturingBocue (handbags)

    Eylse C. Bec (scarves and the like)

    Joann Lysiak (jewelry)

    The Post Family (awesome tshirts, prints, notecards, etc)

    Wine will be poured by Craig Perman, a new local wine savant who has taken over Bennet Wineson Washington .... you're gonna love him! and his wine! Come and welcome him to the neighborhood!

    And, last but certainly not least, Abbe and
    Liplab will be here to make you look even prettier (not that you need it.... but a little lipstick never hurt. That's what Bess & Loie always told me), and a custom session with her is the perfect gift for the girl who has everything.

    So please come and stop by, say hello, have a glass of wine, and peruse the merchandise!

    If you can't make it, come in and create a wish list, and then send your loved ones over in your place!

    Thanks so much to everyone for their support in these first months of the store, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope to see you on the 29th!!!


    Here is the store's location, etc:

    Allyson Holleb
    Bess & Loie
    1015 W. Lake
    Chicago, IL 60607
    p. 312.226.2247
    f. 312.226.8117

  7. Yes, this is a VERY fun shop!! It's seriously out of the way but worth the trip. I went there over the summer when she had just opened and wow....she had quite the selection!!! My dermatologist is on Fulton which is right around the corner. I'm gonna have to stop in again!

  8. Oh dear my husband is not impressed, it's about in the middle between my office and my apartment...
  9. Oh.... How exciting! I wish I lived in Chicago.
  10. cool, this is just down from where i work -yipee!
  11. Thanks!! I am going to check this out!!
  12. I live so close by. I must check this out!!!
  13. Yikes--next time I go back (will always feel like home even tho we're in NC) to Chicago, I'm checkin' this place out. Thanks for sharing your "find"!:tup:
  14. Thanks for sharing! One more excellent reason to get back into the city.
    I can't tell you how much I miss the shopping......
  15. A Chicago TPF meetup that night????