Category: Apparel

71. Growing Cents of Style’s Spring/Summer Sale is On!

 Growing Cents of Style will open their doors to the public for their sixteenth seasonal consignment sale this Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and you’ll want to be first in line for their fabulous spring and summer merchandise. From baby gear to big-kid clothes, this sale has it all. You’ll find the crème de la crème of brands at a fraction of retail prices, and a selection that can’t be beat.
When the first Growing Cents of Style (GCOS) sale opened in 2006, in a small retail storefront in Barrington, 47 consignors participated with significantly fewer volunteers. It’s fair to say that, since then, word has gotten out about the twice-yearly sales: this season’s sale boasts 400 consignors, and an astonishing 257 volunteers. When Jenny posted the spring/summer sale’s volunteer slots back in mid-January, they were filled within 45 minutes.
To understand the awe-inspiring scale of the sale, all you have to do is walk into the warehouse space at Lake Barrington’s Treetime Classics. “This is our sixth sale in the Treetime Classics space, and it’s just been an awesome partnership,” Jenny says. It’s a football field-sized space, filled to the brim with the best children’s merchandise–from infant clothing to home accessories, and strollers to trikes.
As GCOS grows, Jenny works continually to ensure that her consignors and customers have the best possible experience. “We try to make it as streamlined, organized, and pain-free as possible,” she says. The best compliment she’s received from her customers is, “‘Why would I go anywhere else? You have the reputation for being the most organized, well-run sale.’ That’s just really nice to hear, because we work so hard to create and implement systems that keep things running smoothly for both consignors and customers.”
With higher volume comes the need for greater quality control, to ensure that brands are in compliance and items are in excellent condition. “We have someone here at all times during check-in doing a very thorough quality check, making sure that clothing is in great shape before it’s allowed on the floor,” Jenny says.
Over the past few years, the sale has become a family affair. Jenny’s mother, Nancy Phillips Heath; and Jenny’s sisters-in-law, Nikki Heath, Volunteer Coordinator; and  Michelle Heath, Point of Sale manager, have helped Jenny focus on her increasing management duties.
Consignors, who can sell up to 100 children’s items at the sale, can also volunteer before and/or during the sale. Those who volunteer earn a higher percentage of their sales, and earn pre-sale passes. And the perks increase with the number of shifts worked: volunteers who work a greater number of shifts gain access to prime shopping times, in addition to earning more money back from their sales. Plus Jenny offers other fun incentives, like those who work three or more shifts can win a drawing with an awesome prize: 100% of their sales…
Brooke Anderson, of Fox Point, has consigned at the past ten sales. “It’s the best way to get rid of the piles of great-quality clothes that build up in your house. I have two girls, who are 12 and 13, so it’s just become part of our routine. It’s a great idea–I wish I would have thought of it!”……

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321. Notice Accessories for Living’s “One for You, One for Me” Gift Guide

 We all know that giving is the best part of the holidays, right? There’s nothing like spreading holiday cheer with just the right gift for that special someone. But Notice owner Mari Barnes and her daughters Becky Jackson and Hannah Hannick see that our eyes do tend to wander while looking for that perfect present. Despite our best intentions, holiday shopping quickly turns into “one for you, one for me.” (And how could it not, with so much cute stuff around? We really can’t be blamed.)
The ladies at Notice want us to embrace this method of shopping. “It makes shopping even more fun,” Becky says. “How’s that a bad thing?” We decided to make it official with the first annual “One for You, One for Me” gift guide.
Becky, who is in charge of visual merchandising and marketing, describes Notice as a one-stop-shop for clothing, gifts, and accessories. “We have great, unique gifts for women, men, and children–there’s something for everyone on your list,” she says. And because the Barrington store is one of three Notice boutiques–there’s also a store in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, and one in Evanston–they have tons of rotating inventory. 
“Barrington customers always get first dibs,” Mari says. “Since we have the largest storeroom here, we have everything shipped to this location.” They’re constantly bringing new items out onto the floor, where lucky Barrington shoppers can snap them up before they’re shipped off to Chicago or Evanston (if they ever make it onto the truck, that is).
Notice has all the glitter and glam a girl could want for the holidays: A vegan leather dress from Eva Franco (pictured above, at left, $278) is a great wardrobe update, and can easily withstand a red wine spill (not that red wine ever spills, but just in case). And while you’re there, you could pick up a sparkling frame or candle as a hostess gift–you can’t get much more efficient than that!
So here it is, folks.  Our “One for You, One for Me” Gift Guide including gift suggestions for all of those special people in your life along with companion gifts for yourself ;).  Happy shopping!
For the Wee Ones (and You)
As the mother of a 2 year-old son and 7 month-old daughter, Becky is always on the lookout for the cutest items for the kids in our lives. These Stack and Scare blocks by Uncle Goose ($52) are made in Michigan with sustainably forested basswood. The interchangeable pieces inspire creative building, and the graphic designs are great for the youngest architects.
And you’ll look adorable building alongside your little one in this Waverly Gray sweater ($218). The nubby texture, knit cuffs, and inset zipper take this sweater to the next level.
For a Great Friend (and You)
Color-blocked felt totes ($220 and up) from Gräf & Lantz would be a welcome gift for any woman on your list (including yourself!). Their bright colors and zig-zag stitching, coupled with rich leather handles, strike the right balance of design and durability.
The German duo of Gräf & Lantz also make coasters in the same 5mm-thick wool felt used on their bags.  Coasters just like these were used to protect tables in Bavarian taverns until the late 1800s, which is how they got their name “bierfilzl,” or beer felt. Combine a set ($22) with your favorite brew for a host/hostess gift with a bit of history. They’re functional, durable, and come in lots of great colors.
For a Man (and You)
For the men in your life, Notice carries a line of gorgeous Graphite Objects ($34-72) from sculptor Agelio Batle.  The organic, nature-inspired forms are handmade by first creating a clay mold of the object. Then carbonaceous graphite (the same material used in pencils) is combined with other compounds in the mold under intense pressure. The result is an art object that can also be used as a smudge-free writing instrument–one that will last up to seven years! (If you don’t see the perfect object below, just ask–there are many more designs available.)
And wouldn’t it be more fun to address your holiday cards with a fun pen like the ACME pens pictured below ($49.50)? Or combine a pen with one of Notice’s many  journals for a writing-themed gift.
For a Family (and You)
Getting ready to deck the halls? Decorate your mantel with a few stockings by Barrington resident Jen Hapwood’s company, My Perennial.…

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173. Welcome the New Season with the Summer Wine Walk

 We have a libation theme going this weekend with a number of beverage-centered specials and events taking place in Barrington.  With the first day of summer only five days away, merchants downtown are getting a jump start on the season by hosting the first ever Summer Wine Walk, a compliment to the well-attended Winter Wine Walk they hosted in March.

The FREE event will be hosted by participating businesses surrounding Cook and Station Streets from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 16th.  Each merchant will have a wine map for you to grab so you can see what’s available for sipping before you move on to your next destination. Participating merchants will be offering a total of 14 wines to sample along with appetizers from Cooper’s Pizza.  And to add a little summer sizzle, Park Avenue Restaurant will feature live music with Brian Saltzman from 3 to 6 p.m.
More merchants have joined the downtown wine walk for tomorrow’s event.  Here’s a look at who’s participating and what you will enjoy as you power your way through the town……

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146. “Get Noticed” with Barrington’s Newest Boutique

 The term “get noticed” has new meaning in Barrington with a brand new boutique that just opened its doors on Cook Street. The shop’s name is “Notice – Accessories for Living” and it’s full of fun and unique clothing, jewelry, handbags, scarves and other special details carefully selected to stand out when mixed with any wardrobe. Barrington is the third location for this 3-year-old family business owned by Mari Barnes and managed by her two daughters, Becky and Hannah. Since they’re a mother-daughter team, they decided Mother’s Day weekend would be the perfect time to roll out the red carpet and host the new store’s grand opening celebration.
The Barnes family developed a keen eye for art and unique pieces as the long-time owners of a custom frame shop, The Custom Framer, in downtown Highland Park. They expanded their scope when they opened their first Notice accessories boutique in Evanston three years ago. They opened another Notice shop on Main Street in Lake Geneva last year to follow with their latest store which opened in Barrington last month……

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