Design your own products in Chicago

The “design your own” concept is trending again, thanks to new services from Damen + Division, Erin Gallagher and Norma Zeiger.

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  • Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki

  • Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki

  • Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki

  • Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Damen + Division

    Damen + Division design your own vintage earring

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Damen + Division

    Damen + Division design your own vintage earring

Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki


Damen + Division vintage earring bar
Designer Sonia Barrett Esler started this local (we’ll give you one guess which neighborhood it originated in) handmade jewelry line in 2009 as an ode to colorful and glitzy accessories from the 1970s and ’80s. The line mixes vintage pieces with current jewelry findings to create statement-making necklaces, bracelets and earrings—all with a disco-meets-rock-&-roll edge. The line has recently expanded to include a DIY aspect for its earrings: You choose the top of your earring (all tops are from vintage stock and feature surgical-steel ear posts) and then pair it with a dangling Swarovski crystal component. Prices range from $100–$120.

Where to find it You can design the earrings online (damen-division.com) or in person at Sarca (710 N Wabash Ave).

Erin Gallagher’s Gem Bar
Local designer Erin Gallagher has opened a couple of shops in the city over the past few years, but this one is a completely different concept. Instead of settling on designs she invented, customers can take matters into their own hands. This new space offers dozens of chain styles, charms, stone colors and settings that can be used to make necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Not feeling crafty? The shop features a selection of completed Erin Gallagher designs, as well. Styles start at $30.

Where to find it 1013 W Webster Ave (312-492-7548, gembar.com).

Pillow Bar at Fortunate Discoveries
Interior designer Norma Zeiger always encounters the same problem when she’s on the job: She can never find the right accent pillows for her clients’ homes. That’s why she launched a “pillow bar” component to her home accessories line, Cozy Modern Home. The design options feature textured knit on one side of the pillow and a graphic fabric on the other. In addition to choosing a color scheme, you can also opt to have your pillows personalized with initials or a special date (to mark a birthday or wedding, say). Pillows start at $65.

Where to find it Fortunate Discoveries (1022 W Armitage Ave, 773-472-2220), a new retail gallery that’s having its grand opening celebration May 4 from 5–9pm, and entwineinteriors.com.


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