Behind the Brand // Shop 857

Shop 857 is a locally owned boutique on Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park filled with a well curated collection of women’s clothing. WCBC chatted with Shop 857’s owner Kelli about fall trends, starting a small business, and what it is like to work for yourself.
Tell us a little about Shop 857. When did it open, and what was the inspiration behind it?

Shop 857 opened its doors in the winter of 2011.  Upon moving to Chicago, I quickly feel in love with all the city has to offer, but when it came to all the things I love in fashion, I could not always find my favorite designers and lines that I worked with and patronized in New York.  On a mission to find that little piece of what I cherished about New York in my new city, I decided to take matters into my own hands and bring a bit more of what I loved and who I am to the incredible city of Chicago.  And so out of all of my efforts and dreams, Shop 857 was born!


Which Fall fashion trends are you loving?

There are so many fall trends for 2014 that I am loving.  The crop top that was big for spring/summer continues into long sleeve versions for fall.  Outerwear definitely is big this year, oversized coats and vest.  I also have to mention the use of mixed media items – clothing accented with leather, mesh and chiffon.  Lastly, casual comfort – sneakers and joggers are defiantly here to stay.

What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business?

There are so many things that I wish I had known starting my own business.  The first thing I would tell someone is to always overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues.  I am constantly looking for ways to improve my business; Learning more always equals earning more.  Lastly, I would tell any business owner to value their employees.  If your employees like you and feel appreciated they will work hard for you.  I have long lasting relationships with the girls that have worked here that has even continued after they left and pursued their careers.


What is the best part about working for yourself?

The best part of working for myself is watch a small idea grow and develop into something bigger and better each month and each year.  I love the relationships I have formed with my neighborhood customers and the other small business owners in Lincoln Park.  We have an amazing community in LP, where we do tons of events together as well as many local charity projects.

What is the hardest part of being your own boss?

The hardest part about being your own boss is that your job description never ends.  You are all things, the sales team, buyer, accounting and maintenance staff.

Which female entrepreneurs do you look up to?

I am fortunate that two of the female entrepreneurs that I admire are very close to me.  One being my mom.  She has owned and operated her own franchise business for over 30 years.  In addition, my very best friend that I grew up with, that resides in New York has also been a huge inspiration.  She owns a lifestyle management company, working with tons of celebrities.   It has been so exciting to watch and support each other as we live out our dreams.  She also introduced me to, Sophia Amoruso our newest obsession, the author of #girlboss and founder of Nasty Gal.

Follow Shop 857 on Facebook & Twitter! And be sure to stop by Shop 857 at 857 West Armitage.