Lynne McDaniel learned the ropes of buying and selling antiques when she was just a child, tagging along with her mother, an interior designer, to the Maxwell Street Market on Sundays. “I come from a background of antiques—English, French, Tiffany, the big boys,” says Lynne, who owns the Humboldt Park vintage furniture store An Orange Moon, located on North Avenue just west of Western. Her husband and business partner, Ty, on the other hand, wasn’t the biggest fan of traditional antique aesthetics—that is, until he started delving into midcentury modern design.[jump]
- Andrea Bauer
- Lynne and Ty McDaniel
The McDaniels’ store offers a curated selection of quality MCM finds: an impressive Milo Baughman credenza, leather and chrome Harvey Probber lounge chairs, and a Herman Miller Eames Dax chair from 1949. The window display is situated on a stage complete with a dance floor; when the store hosts events, it gets cleared off for live music. Jazz music plays throughout the sunlit shop, and there’s always a bottle of tequila at the checkout counter for customers to sip or shoot (depending on your shopping mood).
The passion the McDaniels have for business is apparent beyond the store’s walls. Lynne has spearheaded a movement to ensure the area’s vitality: WOW, an acronym for West of Western, connects business owners along the North Avenue strip from Western to California in an effort to create a successful, safe, and viable shopping district.
“Back in the day, people used to say, ‘Oh, don’t go west of Western,’” Lynne says. “[It’s] always had that negative connotation, so we decided to make that into a positive.” Lynne’s goal is to attract more entrepreneurs: “Small businesses are the glue that hold communities together,” she says. “This neighborhood could use some economic development,” Ty adds. “The economic growth has to be translated into economic growth for the people. Small businesses can provide jobs for those people.”
WOW is taking measures into its own hands when it comes to beautifying North Avenue. “Be proud. Take those bars down. Wash your windows. Sweep the curb,” Lynne tells her fellow business owners. “You’re going to grow old waiting for the city. We have to be the change.”