V. TO TREAT WITH EXCESSIVE KINDNESS OR CARE; TO INDULGE
They're the spas, services, and indulgence that saved your sanity this year.
Kate Robertson Mayu
After a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Peruvian Andes, Kate Robertson started Mayu, a hand-knit alpaca accessories company that provides work for women with scarce economic resources. Read more
Mayu Hand-Knit Alpaca
It’s hard to look cool in the cold. Puffy coats, trapper hats, and wellies aren’t exactly fashion forward.
All the more reason to make what you’re wearing under them really matter.
Like an alpaca knit from Mayu, a company conceived by Chicagoan Kate Robertson while in the Peace Corps in Peru.
Robertson serves as the liaison between you (the shopper) and a community of women in the Andes (the producers). Using knitting techniques passed down from generations, the women use ecofriendly alpaca fiber to create exquisite shawls, throws, hoodies, scarves, and more in a variety of earth tones. They’re not only super soft; they’re also warm, durable, and hypoallergenic.
Mayu provides the women (many of whom are single, divorced, or widowed) with the opportunity for independence; fair, livable wages for their families; and Web-based business skills.
How’s that for warm and fuzzy?
Mayu (847-363-7186 or shopmayu.com).
Sonia Roselli Esthetique
After Sonia Roselli woos you with her Southern charm, she'll take your breath away with signature flawless makeup techniques at her new storefront, Esthetique. Read more
All Wed Up
Fall 2008 Wedding Guide
Wedding planning should be an Olympic event. Think about it — it’s got all the criteria: challenges, scoring, competition, nervous sweating, rings. People laugh; people cry. And someone always takes the cake.
You’re Goin’ Gown
One step inside Caroline DeVillo’s sun-filled studio and you won’t want to leave. Well, not without a dress. DeVillo designs timeless couture looks — elegant, simple silhouettes with architectural lines made from the highest-quality Italian silk. Throw in shoes from Filippa Scott and jewelry from Haute Bride and Betsy Tanner Designs, and you’ve got a veritable one-stop shop. You’ll win best dressed, bar none.
She Shoots, She Scores
Or in this case, he shoots, you score. For impeccable photos with the perfect amount of tongue in cheek, hit up local fave Jeremy Lawson. His eye for detail and penchant for in-the-moment shots give him an edge above the rest. Not a fan of posing? Neither is he.
Enough with all this talk about bronzing. Go for the gold at Sonia Roselli, Esthetique, a brand new storefront in Rogers Park. Roselli offers airbrushing, eyelash extensions, and custom color mixing for the blushing bride and her party. Stop in for a trial application and you’ll be hooked.
Chicago native Jeremie Lappe is a real winner. After whetting her palate at Cheryl Kleinman in New York, she returned home and started Batter Up Cake Bar, whipping cakes that’ll knock you out of the park. Lappe meets with her clients to discuss flavors (chocolate, red velvet, vanilla), fillings (citrus curd, chocolate ganache), icings (lavender, pistachio, coconut), and decorations (she specializes in sugar flowers). Tastes like a grand slam to us.
Step Up to the Plate
Winner takes all with Black Rooster Catering. Headed by the folks behind Jerry’s, the reputable group dishes modern comfort food to the masses. Options include a whole poached salmon; beef tenderloin with ancho-coffee rub; tomato tapenade and goat cheese bruschetta; marinated shrimp, basil, and prosciutto skewers; and much more. Liquor and spirits are also available, guaranteeing you’ll beat ’em to the punch.
There Will Be Buds
Simply Flowers wins first prize in our eyes. Owner Toni Lenzi sticks to the cream of the crop (premium Dutch buds; Ecuadordian roses). She picks her blooms according to season — this fall she’s loving vine maple, safflower, bright dahlias, chocolate cosmos, and kale — and pulls it all together with fragrant geranium leaves. Not a bloom expert? Not to worry. Lenzi is on-site the day of, pinning boutonnieres and making sure your bouquet is picture perfect.
Win your guests’ hearts with invites from Greenstar Creative. During a personal consultation with fun-loving owner Lynda Junge, you’ll pick a design that fits your fancy, from the traditional (cursive, bows) to the cheeky (Eat, Drink, Marry). Even better? Junge can create a stamp to match the invite (not that we don’t love liberty bells). Post-celebration, thank those who made it happen with a letterpressed Wedding Expert Appreciation Kit from Cardiology Cards. For your jeweler: We’re thrilled and delighted with the bling you provided. For the caterer: You’re swell, you fed us well.
Go get ’em, Champ.
Need more inspiration? We’ve published Wedding Guides in every edition today, so check them all out.
Virginia Montgomery Virginia Montgomery Massage
Specializing in cranial massage, Virginia Montgomery will knead your neck, untie your knots, and have you headache and stress free in a few short visits. Read more
A Safe Place
Virginia Montgomery Massage
Banks give most people killer headaches (long lines, annoying tellers, gross lollipops).
So what if we told you about a bank that rids you of your problems altogether?
Virginia Montgomery’s personal massage studio is set in a converted bank safe, so not only is it quiet, you couldn’t escape if you tried (we kid). Montgomery’s latest specialties are cranial massage and tension relief. Using a technique called unwinding, the masseuse follows your head where it wants to go, subtly directing muscles for deep, healing relaxation.
If your noggin is headache free, Montgomery will customize a body massage for your specific needs. She can do anything from deep tissue to hot stones to herbal treatments.
Montgomery will travel to your house, but we’re pretty sure you’d have a better experience at hers.
In fact, we’d bank on it.
Virginia Montgomery Massage (773-279-8513 or virginiamontgomery.com).