Shopping in Elmwood Park

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…V Boutique festoons fashionable women with trendy, brand-name apparel and handcrafted jewelry. The boutique's fashionistas pepper their racks with classic and contemporary pieces that run the gamut from casual attire for running everyday errands to dress-casual wardrobes ideal for walking conceited poodles through the park. Dresses ($55–$85) colorfully drape bodies like robes fashioned from Lucky Charms, and jeans from Tru Luxe ($80–$100) comfortably cover leg parts. Karen Kane blouses ($20–$60) and pants ($50–$80) give clothes hangers access to the most exclusive closet nightclubs, and handmade jewelry and other assorted adornments ($20–$40) chicly accessorize any simple outfit or complicated mathematical theorem.

7830 West North Avenue
Elmwood Park,
IL
US

Full service florist, specializing in unique and one of a kind arrangements, all arrangements are made to order

7617 Lake St
River Forest,
IL
US

Here's how Door to Door Organics works. Start by choosing a small box of heart-healthy fruits, veggies, or both. The produce changes each week according to what's in season, but it's all organic, and locally grown when possible, thanks to the personal and professional relationships Door to Door's owners have developed with local farmers. For example, a recent menu for a small mixed box included a 23-item medley of pears, avocadoes, apples, oranges, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, beets, carrots, celery, and chard. If you like your box of produce, you can subscribe to Door to Door Organics for regular deliveries.

122 South Elmwood Avenue
Oak Park,
IL
US

Nora's Shoe Shop points fashion-seeking feet toward comfy styles from brands such as Gadea, Zita Maria, and Sheridan Mia. Fish Sequin by All Black colorful flats ($128) armor feet in a scaly, purple web. For more formal occasions, the Change of Venue by Seychelles ($98) props up tootsies on 3-inch stacked heels, where they can prance securely with red crisscross straps and enough sophisticated attitude to enliven even the most mundane Governor's Ball. Although merchandise varies by store, shoppers may also score sale finds such as a Rhonda blue slingback sandal ($30) by Sachelle or dramatic Mia Honeycomb cork-soled wedges ($50). Snag suitably suave headwear with a Lizzy by Design gray jean hat with bronze piping ($52) for extra-stylish undercover operations.

103 N Oak Park Ave
Oak Park,
IL
US

All big movements start small, but many would be surprised to learn that Ten Thousand Villages—a nonprofit and retailer with 390 outlets nationwide—began out of a car trunk. In 1946, Edna Ruth Byler started the organization out of her car, taking a name from a quote by Mohandas Gandhi, who said, “India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages.” Her willpower and determination allowed her vision to grow into a nonprofit that today supports more than 130 artisans in 38 developing countries. These artisans' wares go on sale at the organization's nationwide retail outlets, which brim with items including jewelry, home decor, and refrigerator cozies.

Everything is made using environmentally friendly processes, and every artisan is paid a fair wage. The money raised from sales goes to supply the artisans—who might otherwise be unemployed or underemployed—with education, food, housing, and healthcare. The organization has risen to such stature that it won the People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year in 2005, and has acted as one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization.

121 N Marion St
Oak Park,
IL
US

In 1962, Val Camilletti began working at Capitol Records, which was ushering in a new era of music, led by The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Ten years later, she opened her own retail record shop, which has spent 40 years distributing eclectic sounds to listeners who, Val says, "are tired of shopping for music in refrigerator stores."

At Val's, you'll find vinyl records lined up in tidy rows and rock posters on the walls. Its expansive, rotating stock features several musical genres and spotlights burgeoning local artists. Knowledgeable staff can also help customers hunt down rare issues, imports, or B-sides. If a record is not in the store inventory, Val's can order it within 24 to 48 hours, depending on how fast they can wake up Keith Richards.

239 Harrison St
Oak Park,
IL
US

Elmwood Park Scene