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'American Pickers' Danielle Colby Goes Pickin' in Chicago

By Alisa Hauser | February 4, 2013 10:26am

WICKER PARK — It's been just one week since reality TV star Danielle Colby opened a boutique on North Avenue, and she's already frequenting local brunch spots and booked a burlesque show at Double Door.

While brunching at Damen Avenue's Toast, Colby, 37, the only female cast member on the History Channel's show "American Pickers," said she was approached by a fan who asked her when 4 Miles 2 Memphis boutique would be open.

"I looked at my watch, and said, 'Uh, in a few minutes, when I leave here!' " Colby said jokingly.

When she's not in Le Claire, Iowa, filming "Pickers," most days Colby can be found tearing up the brunch scene at favorite spots such as Toast, The Bongo Room and Bite, all of which she lauds for "excellent customer service," as well as practicing her own people skills at 4 Miles 2 Memphis. 

 "American Pickers" star Danielle Colby will come to the Double Door stage March 1, though as Dannie Diesel, when Burlesque le' Moustache presents "Gospel for the Guilty."
"American Pickers" star Danielle Colby will come to the Double Door stage March 1, though as Dannie Diesel, when Burlesque le' Moustache presents "Gospel for the Guilty."
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Danielle Colby

Colby owns the shop at 1734 W. North Ave with her husband Alex De Meyer, who designs T-shirts.

Adjacent to Broken Cherry, which is run by her friend Remey Rozin, 38, who closed a men's shop to make room for Colby, the small space is packed with handmade clothing including  dresses and bloomers, jewelry and vintage boots.

4 Miles 2 Memphis's merchandise employs an Americana vintage style, which Colby said is very complimentary to Broken Cherry, which has a rockabilly vibe and makes uniforms for the Roller Derby community.

They are "two headstrong women" who can "back each other as a team and prop up each other's successes as female independent shop owners," Rozin said.

Dubbing the two storefronts just west of the North Avenue and Hermitage Street intersection as "Cherry Picker's Row," the women have a lot of plans in the pipeline, such as a to-be-determined grand opening celebration. That party will include live burlesque models in the storefront windows of both shops, and down the road there are plans for an antique motorcycle rally and makeup workshops, which will teach women how to create their own "Riot Girl" style, and apply winged eyeliner, for instance.

"We want to change the way that women think about each other so that they can respect each other's strengths and be more of a team rather than put each other down and be catty, jealous,"  Colby said.

To get into the groove of propping each other up,  Rozin and Colby selected their top "picks" from each other's shops Friday.

Colby's first pick at Broken Cherry was the Medusa' s make-up line which contain an array of sparkly shadows.

"I was a makeup artist for 20 years and love these because they're pigmented, with lots of colors to choose from," Colby said.

Second among Colby's favorite's at Broken Cherry were Bettie Page platform shoes, which contain frills and polka dots juxtaposed against step heels.

Thirdly, Colby gravitated to a shiny aqua clutch purse by retro-inspired label Lux de Ville.

At 4 Miles 2 Memphis, Rozin zeroed in on a bright red crate emblazoned with the name "Barnie's Circus."

"It's not for sale," Colby quipped.

The crate, according to Colby, was "picked" by Mike Wolfe, her co-star at "American Pickers." He didn't want to keep it since he was unsure of its authenticity.

Rozin's second favorite selection was a vaudeville-era dancing doll that sits atop the dressing room stall.

Colby said she purchased the doll from Wolfe about three years ago and that it's intended to be wrapped around a person while dancing.

Rozin's third favorite "pick" was something that actually can be purchased: a pair of women's red, white and blue leather cowboy boots, size 8½.

4 Miles 2 Memphis and Broken Cherry are located at 1734-36 W. North Ave. Winter hours for both shops are noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The rest of the year, the shops will also be open noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

4 Miles 2 Memphis is having a 20 percent off sale through Feb. 16.