Eliana Lily | Boutique of the Week | Chicago Reader

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Eliana Lily


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Eliana Lily

1628 N. Wells


Elizabeth Floersheimer has been fashionable as long as she can remember ("I dressed in pin-striped suits in seventh grade," she says), but what she really wanted was to be in the movies. Her dream was sidelined by her own fears and the arrival of two children until two years ago, when she began taking classes at Second City. But then destiny stepped in. About a year and a half ago, Floersheimer started making her own handbags, and when strangers started stopping her on the street to ask about them, she knew she had a viable business idea. She started selling them at parties, and last month opened Eliana Lily, named after her daughter, right down the block from Second City on North Wells. Floersheimer's bags are the focus of the store; she offers seven different styles, including the Florence, a long bucket purse she originally made for a trip to Italy that can be slung over the shoulder with a strap or carried by two wide metal rings. Customers can choose from ready-made bags or customize with different handles, fabrics, and leather. The boutique also offers a carefully chosen array of accessories and clothing with a decidedly dressy bent, like tunics in washable chocolate cashmere and wide-sleeved V-neck silk chiffon dresses in red and black with gold and silver embroidery. Floersheimer will even "restyle" items languishing in customers' closets--turning a mink stole into a shrug or a bag, or both, for example. With its white velvet curtains, fur rugs, and mirrored walls, the interior is a crisp, modern take on an art deco boudoir that cries out for a dry martini. As it happens, Floersheimer also rents the space for private events: birthdays, wedding showers, "divorce parties." "Drinking and shopping," she says. "How often do you get to do both?"

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mireya Acierto.

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