BUCKTOWN — It's not easy being green.
Kermit the Frog's famous line proved true for the owner of an ecologically conscious paint boutique, who announced on Tuesday the imminent closure of the 6-year enterprise.
"It was a financial decision," said Michelle Quaranta, founder of Colori Eco Paint Boutique at 2243 W. North Ave. "Sustainable products are priced higher because materials are made in U.S.A., they're non-toxic. In project design budgets, paint is one of the first things that gets cut."
Colori carries the Mythic paint line, which is manufactured by Southern Diversified Products and costs around $35.99 per gallon — significantly higher than a non environmentally-friendly can of paint.
For entrepreneurs like Quaranta, however, price was not what drove clients to her boutique, one of the first to set up shop in 2006 and wake up a sleepy commercial stretch of North Avenue west of the Milwaukee-Damen-North intersection.
A familiar sight on North Avenue, the effervescent Quaranta often dashed out of her shop to personally visit area homes for in-home color consultations.
Colori's storefront window featured mannequins bedecked in outfits made out of paint chips that attracted media attention, too.
Quaranta, who formerly worked in road construction, said that when she opened Colori it was a time when green products were booming and the economy was better for small businesses.
"Independent businesses, they're going down, one after another," she said. "What I'll miss most is being in the neighborhood and the support of the neighborhood. Most of my customer base was here and it was a great run."
Quaranta said she's sold many of the color chips to area artists, though has plenty of chips remaining, along with dozens of brushes, rollers, trays, "quite a bit of paint and all paint supplies" and computer monitors.
Artists and homeowners in need of paint are encouraged to call Quaranta at 312-375-3533 to set up an appointment or email her, as boutique hours will be limited through the end of the month.