ZAP Style Notes: Milk Handmade Opens at Block 37

ZB_11.17.14 You may remember me writing about Block 37's "Search for the Next Great Pop-Up" earlier this fall. After two months of reviewing applications, in-person interviews, considering social vote and getting insights from a team of trusted advisers, Block 37 selected Milk Handmade as the first-ever winner of the contest. A boutique that primarily works with local companies and artisans, Milk Handmade is now open at Block 37 on the second floor for the holiday season (November and December).

The space is gorgeous. Basically if you have a love for hand-crafted items of all varieties -- scarves, rings, t-shirts, candles, bags and more -- you'll love this shop. Milk Handmade's owner, Hallie Borden, currently has a shop in Andersonville, but this shop really reflects the downtown shopper while staying true to Hallie's overall aesthetic and mission. It's also a great chance for those who live or work closer to the loop to shop the boutique, considering the Andersonville location might not be as easy to get to.

On Tuesday, November 18, you can join us for the official launch party from 6 to 8 p.m., with cupcakes and cocktails generously provided by Magnolia Bakery and Crafthouse cocktails. One lucky guest will win a $50 gift card (wish it could be me!).

But really, this place is great for holiday shopping, with clothing and accessories to shop from that will suit a variety of fashion styles. To help you spark some holiday ideas, I’m sharing five of my favorite items:

1. Equator Necklace ($80). I’m all about statement necklaces, usually in silver palettes, but there’s something about raw materials that can edge up a simple outfit. This amethyst on sterling silver chain, handmade by Ali’s Collection, can definitely help you make a statement.

2. Duffy Florals Sweatshirt ($48). I’m obsessed with this sweatshirt. Throw on a pair of converse and some black skinny jeans for an afternoon of shopping or weekend of errands, and you have an effortless Chicago look. To give you some background, the Duffy Florals were a Southside basketball team from 1935 to 1937, headed up by a local flower shop owner. This sweatshirt is screen-printed in Chicago by People’s Garment Co. Someone get me this, please!

3. Chain-Link Infinity Scarf ($48). Winter isn’t coming, it’s here, and I say, the bigger the scarf the better. Pile this scarf high with any winter coat, as it comes in a variety of colors. So much cuteness; so much warmth. Hand-crocheted in Chicago by KraeO.

4. Brass Crystal + Druzy Ring ($60). On any given day, I’m usually wearing at least three or four rings, so I wouldn’t mind adding this one to my rotating collection. These are handmade in Chicago by Therese Kuempel; broze crystals are hand cast, and each ring is one-of-a-kind increasing its unique effect.

5. Sweatshirt Dress ($99). Made in Chicago by Anna Hovet, this dress is stylish and warm – essential for Chicago winters. I’d pair it with moto boots to give it a little edge.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars to visit the shop before the end of December, or join us tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m. for the launch event! Happy shopping!

- Stephanie Poquette, Senior Publicist