HEART OF CHICAGO — Pillows made by an artist-run weaving studio. Candlesticks fashioned from clay dug up around Chicago. Midwest-themed posters. Chicagoans will soon be able to browse these items and more at the World of Variety holiday pop-up.
Founded by Chicago artist Stella Brown, the World of Variety pop-up shop from Nov. 25-Dec. 24 will offer antiques, art, functional home goods and toys, most of it crafted and sourced locally.
Curb Appeal Gallery, on the corner of West 24th Street and South Oakley Avenue, will host the store.
Shoppers can stop by World of Variety 5-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Brown also welcomes people to make appointments at other times by contacting [email protected].
Brown was the lead organizer behind Buddy, the locally focused art shop that opened in 2021 at the Chicago Cultural Center. She enjoys museums and said she’s come to realize stores are basically museums “you can take something home from.”
“I think being able to create this magical space filled with beautiful things is part of the reason why people love to buy things,” Brown said.
At World of Variety, Brown will spotlight local artists and goods sourced from the Chicago region.
Having worked in the area as a set decorator for films, Brown said finding local businesses to source from is a skill she’s been working on for years — and a talent she’s leaning into now.
“Part of this is to support those smaller, family-owned local places that are making great things and that don’t need to be shipped in from across the country and across the world,” she said.
Brown will also host a number of events to draw visitors: an opening party 4-8 p.m. Dec. 2, a bagel brunch with food from Zeitlin’s Delicatessen noon-4 p.m. Dec. 17 and festive drinks and cookies for last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve.
As Brown coaxes people out to the pop-up, she hopes to encourage people to avoid corporations like Amazon in favor of small businesses here in the city.
“I just care so much about supporting people from Chicago,” she said.
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