I've been spending a lot of time in the Windy City lately for work and play... I try and pick a neighborhood to explore each trip and this past visit took me to Logan Square. While planning my short trip, I remembered an old friend of mine from college in Birmingham, Alabama now lived in Chicago and owned a boutique - two birds one stone.
Mary Eleanor and I met in Birmingham through my childhood friend Heatherly. They both attended Samford University and would often come over the hill to hang with me at Birmingham Southern's fraternity row. I hadn't seen her in years but it was wonderful to catch up and see what she had been working on since college.
Mary Eleanor Wallace began Tusk as an Etsy shop while she continued to work her day job as a nurse. Still a nurse by day, Wallace quickly dove into a brick and mortar location on a quiet street in the happening Logan Square neighborhood. Tusk is an thoughtfully curated shop with one-of-a-kind creations by Chicago artisans as well as quirky vintage pieces. The space is sleek and modern with warm natural light pouring in providing the perfect backdrop for her colorful wares.
I fell in love with the bright handmade huaraches from Mexico (seen below). The soles are made from recycled tires, the insole is supple leather and the straps are ultra soft and stretchy nylon perfect for a summer stroll. We had a lightening round catch up session while I turned her shop upside down trying on her latest finds and she worked on some new ceramic statement necklaces.
Nurse by day and curator on nights and weekends, Mary Eleanor Wallace proves that there are enough hours in the day if you have the drive and passion. If you are ever in Chicago, you should definitely pay her a visit!