Tell us a bit about the store and what it does.
everything is a select shop located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago [1343 w 19th Street]. The building holds a lot of memories for a very diverse group of people- It’s been a gallery, a funeral home, a hangout spot, and now, it’s our home for Everything. It’s always a treat when someone comes in to share a story about acre gallery or a halloween party of years past. Chicago is like this, or maybe just the Midwest in general- the present is so informed by the past. So beyond being a place that sells stuff, we like to bring people together and maybe create memories for this space. That feels a little lofty but I guess it’s true and sincere. We focus a lot on the concept of repurposing and repairing vintage pieces and antiques, appreciating the handiwork of times past, so this sort of plays into that idea of the store being a host of nostalgia and the future alike.
What’s your origin, and what was the journey to being open like?
Opening a store in Chicago is basically just tolerating various levels of bureaucratic formalities and then suddenly, the next thing you know, all of your friends know where to find you 5 days a week and if you forget to pack a lunch you’re sort of screwed.
What do you primarily sell?
We sell mostly garments and accessories, books, and a few art objects. I guess it’s a curated rotating collection of independent makers, artists, designers, musicians, and whatever else title there is we might probably have that too. Also some antiques. Books. Music. Everything : )
What’s in and what’s out for 2023?
In: hard work, making mix CD’s for your crush, making mix CD’s for your car, walking really far just to see what’s going on over there, watching your favorite scene over and over again, tall boots, costume dressing (pre 1700’s), bows, chairs, reggae, printed fliers, Costco, animals, sunrise to sunset, sunset to sunrise, finding your statement hat, scraps of paper, repurposing, flowers, sunscreen
Out: no such thing, just a matter of time, I think
Where did the name come from?
Saw a really nice e-greeting card that said ‘everything comes to you at the right time’ in a perfect cursive font. Something about the word felt like it just got stuck in my head for summarizing what I was trying to do with the space.
Would you consider yourself a boutique store; if so, what does ‘boutique’ mean to you?
I’m not totally sure what it means, in fact I just googled boutique. Yea, I guess that’s us. Bespoke reality. The store is more of a workshop at the end of the day because a lot of the vintage is altered in house and we’re always working on some kind of project in the office or basement studio area. I’m always collecting or making or starting a new project and getting new pieces in. Also the selection is so inspired by what’s going on around me, it’s sometimes hard for me to think of it as my own curation when it feels so amebic.
What do you look for when sourcing product?
I just go down a rabbit hole and I just find a new topic of things I’m obsessed with. Last thing that comes to mind is these sterling silver trinket boxes that looked like wrapped pieces of candy.
So I just drove all over looking for those at antique malls and estate sales. They all sold this week and now I’m a little sad, but I guess now I get to find a new thing to collect and then ultimately share with our customers. But beyond that I really love the idea of repurposing. Things that use stains or wear as decoration. Seems beautiful and human and I love the idea of happenstance beauty. Appreciating what materials are on hand and what not.
What types of products do you currently not sell that you’d like to expand into in the future?
Perfume *heart eyes emoji* also sourcing size inclusive vintage is perpetually on my mind and something I try extremely hard to bring to my customers.
Has anything changed significantly since opening?
I got really obsessed with which hand soap I would have in the bathroom for customer use, which now seems really funny. Things like this, silly details I got hung up on, like somehow the soap concept will validate our shop to our customers- this has changed a lot. It’s really hard to plan for something you have no idea about, you’re so exhausted it doesn’t even seem real, and my brain would malfunction and I’d get so obsessed with really frivolous details. Coping mechanism I guess you could say. I’ve worked full time with my mom in the family business (retail/manufacturing) since I was a child like maybe 12 or 11 (still do while running the store) but I have never had the control of things like hand soap, so that seemed totally awesome at first. People are so funny like that. That’s really just the first thing that comes to mind because I don’t really even know what soap we have in there right now. I have also learned the importance of asking for and also accepting help from friends, on a serious note.
How much do you use social media in the running of the store?
Sigh, probably way too much. This question made me start thinking about alternative formats of advertising and I wonder why those things always turn out so self referential. Like “here we are making a silly billboard, isn’t it funny that we are advertising on a billboard?” Would be cool to make a sincere commercial and really try my best. This week I’m trying to gather the strength to make a TikTok account, so maybe that’s my sincere commercial for 2023.
You recently hosted a Valentine’s Day event with rotating DJs – how did that idea come about and do you have any upcoming plans for similar events?
Valentine’s day is just the best holiday. I wanted to showcase some people who have really inspired me with their personal projects in terms of production or curation or whatever projects they’re working on and share them with whoever wanted to listen, which turned out to be a lot of people. I gave a loose concept of ‘what are some good love songs’ or maybe I didn’t even really tell anyone that but I think we were all on the same page. Naomi is an awesome visual artist who has a show up at sulk gallery right now and also works on odyxxeyradio. Max buzone is an awesome musician with such an interesting and extensive knowledge of electronic music and an eagerness to always share what he’s into. Leaf Miner is always into the weird stuff and so supportive of all his friend’s projects, always knows all their latest releases. Coolest taste in books and music and sunglasses for sure. Obe always shows up and has the best knowledge of chicago underground electronic music. It’s crazy he knows everyone and always puts everyone on. Timecop and I have been friends forever and his drive to create is so awesome to be around. He really knows what he wants to do and how it should be done. He has the theory for real. Heoliene came into the store after I had seen them around the scene a few times and I knew they’d be a great fit with the artists I had already asked to participate, such good vibes and eagerness to share their musical interests which also happened to be in line with what we’re interested in right now. What a great group. My friend Jesse Ward made an awesome tequila honey ginger drink for sale, beautifully garnished and so delicious.
We had Taylor design a floral arrangement for the table our shortbread cookies were on. We wanted the event to feel like a middle school dance. My friend Nathan runs the sound for the events and he does such an awesome job since the acoustics of the space are a little strange.
Who are your aesthetic influences?
I guess I just rambled about that for a little while but really, the internet has blessed us so heavily with the ability to share everything with everyone. I love seeing what people are making and how they’re living, what they’re collecting. Seeing outfits that customers come in wearing or style using pieces from the store is super inspiring too. We have a really diverse customer base so everyone sees things a little differently in terms of how to put something together. That’s really cool. I love old stuff too. Like really old stuff. Accumulated wear and tear is the most beautiful color. I grew up on a farm in Michigan in a really small town and I think that midwest brown, rust, sky blue color pallet really stuck with me. I also really love medieval furniture. Has a nice manageable level of magic to it.
Do you have any plans for the rest of the year that you can share?
March 5 – some friends playing records in the store
April 7 – keep that night open ; )
Same with April 8
Eventually sometime – in house manufactured line
Interview Conducted by Milo Christie