There is nothing quite like a Chicagoan's civic pride. Ideas, art, goods - Chicagoans want everything local. Can you blame us?
This month, we're diving into the localization of all things Chicago. This "Made in Chicago" trend is one with immense staying power not only for locals to enjoy, but for visitors to become a part of themselves. This emphasis on all things Chicago is a reflection of Chicagoans' fierce civic pride in their community, their culture, and their city as a whole.
Step one in spreading Peace, Love, and Chocolate? Build your chocolate empire right here in the city of Chicago. This mission is what guides Vosges Haute-Chocolat, a chocolate house developed, pioneered and led by OPEN American Express's Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and one of the 10 Best Chocolatiers in the World (National Geographic): Katrina Markoff. This chocolatier doesn't just create decadent, distinctive chocolate that is unmatched anywhere in the country, or the world; Katrina is building a chocolate empire with its flag staked right here in Chicago. All chocolates, ranging from Matcha Green Tea Spirulina Super Dark Chocolate Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Caramel Chicago, are conceptualized and processed in the Vosges facility on Chicago's Northside. Drooling yet? Keep an eye on Vosges: their Platinum LEED-certified green manufacturing and chocolate lifestyle house Vosges Chicago Temple will be opening later this year.
Introducing the timeless class of a Horween Leather Company leather strap to the hip vantage point of the West Loop headquarters, Astor + Banks marries Old Chicago and Trendy Chicago seamlessly in each custom wrist watch. Astor + Banks sells a product designed and assembled right here in Chicago, and that's not only a promise but a dedication to authenticity. After beginning with some Swiss innards and German casings, the sapphire crystal, dial, and Horween-leather strap are locally made: with Swiss and German origins and locally grown roots, these watches sound like a large part of local Chicagoan's family history. Looking to up the Chicago pride in your purchase? Put in your order for a white, red and navy watch -a subtle nod to the colors of the Chicago flag.
Tru Blooms Chicago brings out the best in Chicago greenery and flora in each and every perfume bottle. The team behind Tru Blooms creates perfume ingredients in the manner they were meant to be gathered: from small plots and lovingly nurtured land in the local neighborhoods throughout the year. Next time you're walking through the public gardens, along the lakefront, or even down the Magnificent Mile, you'll be strolling by the ingredients that make the Tru Bloom scents so unique. Tru Blooms' major partners include the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Chicago Park District, committed to keeping these perfumes smelling fantastic (and local). As they say at Tru Blooms Chicago, "Each bottle is a piece of history and a symbol of civic pride"
Looking for local Chicago arts and goods when you're here?
While you can find Chicago-centric products throughout the city, we've put together an insider's guide to shop like a local while you're here.
Foursided (Three Locations Throughout Chicago)
After having started their reign in Chicago goods and crafts with their custom framing services, Foursided has grown to bring the Chicago imagination to life with art, custom framing, ephemera and local antiques. With unique and quirky gifts for the local urban dweller or the souvenir-seeker, Foursided is sure to have you singing a Chicago tune on your way out, Foursided bag in hand.
Sacred Art (4619 N. Lincoln Ave)
Located in Chicago's Northside ‘hood Lincoln Square, Sacred Art represents over 100 Chicago-based and Chicago-influenced artists. With the goal of supporting independent artists in the Chicago area, Sacred Art provides guests with an inviting environment in which to browse and buy original Chicago-centric artwork.
Andersonville Galleria (5247 N. Clark St)
The neighborhood of Andersonville prides itself on its dedicated support of locally owned businesses and small independent artists, and the Andersonville Galleria represents just that. In the heart of the thriving Andersonville retail corridor, the Andersonville Galleria is home to 90 artists and retailers offering apparel, jewelry, artwork, home furnishings, giftware, and accessories, all made right here in the 312 area code.