If you've ever checked out our About Page, you're familiar with some of our story.. South Loop Loft started (accidentally) in my South Loop Apartment 3.5 years ago after a cross country move from San Francisco and the hard decision to reconsider my career as an Adoption Specialist and Foster Care Case Worker.
I moved. I was offered my old job. My heart sunk. It wasn't what I wanted and I knew it was time to explore what was next. In the meantime, I went about hunting for stand out vintage pieces for our really unique Loft apartment. In a short amount of time, people were asking to buy items from my collection on Instagram, Chairish invited me to be a vendor and I set up an Etsy shop.
Well, the rest is history. (or atleast another blog post!)
Now we are celebrating an exciting milestone- WE'RE MOVING into a Retail Space! I have to thank YOU so much for your support over the last 3 years. As we move forward, every decision we make is focused on YOU: What do our clients love? Want? Respond to? Ask more for? We hope this new space delivers in a seriously amazing way. Your support and enthusiasm mean the world to us!
The drop ceiling is down and the floors are almost finished!
The space has come along way in 2 weeks! Watch out Instagram Stories for daily updates.
1. WHY?! Your current space is so awesome!
- It IS awesome and I will miss many things about it. In all honesty, the building is old and we were facing some challenges with how it was aging and the maintenance it required. The space wasn't serving the needs of our growing business and I knew that something with more visibility would allow us to continue to grow. I have loved the unique experience our current loft space has provided. Creating an experience and not just a shop has always been the big picture and what excites me most about working with people. Trust me when I say the new space will be an even better experience - and I'm working really hard to create something unique and exciting that awakens creativity as much as it is a gorgeous oasis within the city.
2. How did you find the new space?
I wish my answer was as easy as - we had an awesome realtor! But alas, I found it after many months of leg work, 1am internet searches, dozens of visits to see spaces, hours of phone calls with realtors, and many late nights pondering the decision entirely. I learned very quickly that the commercial real estate market in Chicago is not as easy to navigate as I had hoped. Things are priced very high and move very slow and everything requires a ton of work. This space was the only one out of dozens, where i stepped in and actually could envision our business growing in this space. I saw the potential, I saw the experience our shoppers could have, and I knew I had to bring the space to life. After that, it was another FOUR months of negotiations, attorney contract reviews, etc. The landlord actually rejected my first offer entirely and I had to convince her that myself and South Loop Loft were the right tenants for her space. It was a rollercoaster!
3. What are you doing to the space?
Lots! Our biggest projects included removing the 1990's drop ceiling and exposing the 1890's timber ceiling, redoing the floors, tearing down some walls, replacing the stair case railing, remodeling the bathroom, installing a kitchenette, office and design center downstairs. I can't wait for the results.
The space is TWO levels with 13 ft ceilings and a two story atrium area that we will be using for Design/Industry events, Pop Ups, Rotating Art Exhibits and for private events. We take our role in the Design Community very seriously and want to be a place where growth, education, community building and creativity happen.
The space was formerly leased by an Art Gallery, one that we have personally admired and have a fantastic legacy! We will be collaborating on an event soon.
4. WHERE is the new space?
It's in River West on Milwaukee Ave and Erie!
5. WHEN will you open?
- Great question. It's been hard to predict a time line from the very start - because the process of negotiation the lease took months longer than expected! (But it was worth it, as most hard things are). First, the floors, ceilings, electrical work and painting has to be complete before we physically move all the inventory into the new space.
After the physical move of all the inventory, it will take 1-2 weeks for set up. (making dreams come true doesn't happen overnight, as much as I wish it did). PS. We are looking for temp stylists and merchandisers to join us for a marathon few days of setting up the shop! Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested! We will open by appointment and then once ALL the projects are complete and every light fixture hung, we will open with Retail Store hours! My prediction is Mid November for appointments and December with Retail Hours.
Are you following all the progress in the new space? It's getting a pretty dramatic makeover! Follow our daily updates on Instagram Stories.
6. Will you have a moving sale?
YES!!!! The Moving Sale Starts THIS WEEK!! Shop some it online and visit our showroom to shop ALL of it in person. We have special Moving Sale Markdowns you can Shop here in Furniture, Rugs, Lighting, and Decor. ALL other inventory will be 20% off with Discount Code MOVINGSALE at checkout, **Excluding Items Categorized as New Arrivals and Runners** ** Trade Discounts Do Not Apply to Moving Sale Markdowns**
We will have extended hours for the Moving Sale! Come Visit Us One Last Time in our Loft Showroom before the move!
Extended Moving Sale Shopping Hours
Saturday, October 21, 11-5pm
Thursday, October 26, 2-6pm
Friday October 27, 12-7pm,
Saturday, October 28, 11-5pm
7. We can't thank you enough for your support! Each positive comment, Instagram Message and email encourages us as we work to provide you with awesome Vintage furnishings and a unique, memorablel shopping experience. We're excited to share this next adventure with you!!