By Candice Silva
Searching for art fairs, galleries or local neighborhood craft stores can be a difficult process. Some of the best handmade crafts can be found in Chicago, but sometimes we need a little guidance to get there. This list will show you the top five places to find one-of-a-kind creations in every category from clothing and accessories, to stationery and soap.
Wolfbait & B-girls
3131 W. Logan Square Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647
Wolfbait & B-girls is an independent store run by two Chicago native women, Shirley Kienitz and Jenny Stadler. Wolfbait creates handmade clothing, jewelry, home décor and other treasures. If you are an urban handmade fanatic, this will be your dream store. Their collections are created in store, right in front of the customer, in order to create a more personal experience. They also have customer-oriented workshops to create an intimate environment for a unique shopping experience.
1911 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
Greenheart is an eco-fair trade non-profit store that carries products by artisans from around the world. The products sold here are made from the most sustainable materials to ensure that they are loyal to their "good to the Earth" motto. Greenheart carries a variety of homemade goods such as recycled accessories, handbags, kitchenware, home décor, jewelry and toys, among other fun items. This shop even cultivates local goods such as local honey and tea. If you know someone with bad seasonal allergies, local honey makes the perfect gift, as its rumored to help ease the symptoms of pollen allergies. This shop is perfect for those who want to purchase a handmade gift and remain eco-friendly at the same time.
2917 ½ N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
The Inkling shop offers handcrafted creations from Chicago artists, from pins and scarves to greeting cards and artwork. Every month this shop features a different Chicago artist in the gallery space. You can also write a special note on the greeting card or postcard before you purchase it, in case you are giving it as a gift and want to make it more personal. If you want to catch one of Inkling's artist receptions, stop by this LakeView East neighborhood shop any time between 6 and 10 p.m. on the first Friday of the month.
Abbey Brown Soap Artisan
1162 W Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
Located in the heart of Chicago's West Loop neighborhood lies a place where handmade natural soaps are created. Abbey Brown contains soaps, body oils and bathing essentials made from pure olive oil. All of Abbey's products are created in the store, using only the purest oils and homegrown herbs. While this shop is known for its handcrafted soaps, it also features work by local artists such as pottery, paintings and jewelry.
OrangeBeautiful Studio and Shop
4658 N Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
OrangeBeautiful specializes in art and stationery. The shop works with local companies and does the majority of its printing in-house in its north-side studio. Current offerings include stationery, design goods and accessories. You can even view OrangeBeautiful's productive workspace while you shop. If you have a love for letterpress cards, creating your own set color of envelopes or giving artsy-craftsy gifts to a loved one, this is the store for you.
Related: 10 Best Places To Find Offbeat Gifts
A soon-to-be grad from DePaul University, Candice Silva enjoys spending her time writing, reading, blogging and hanging out with people she loves. From Chicago, Illinois, Candice knows all the "in's and out's" of the city, and where to find the most delicious cupcakes in the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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