ANDERSONVILLE — She Art Chicago, an Andersonville art, vintage and collectable store, has closed — and its treasure-hunting owner said she's "taking a breath," before picking a new venture that keeps her rummaging through "alleys and back roads."
The shop, which carried art, vintage jewelry, handbags and other items focused on women, closed for the last time Saturday at 1509 W. Foster Ave.
Owner Candy Johnson said “everyone’s been asking,” why she decided to close the shop.
"[I don't] know if there’s just one answer," she said, but mostly the store “wasn't’ bringing in enough income for me to justify staying open.”
The shop was previously located in west suburban Oak Park. In 2007, after two years in Oak Park, Johnson decided to close the shop with plans of relocating to a bigger space — but then the economy took a turn for the worse. Her Andersonville spot is closing after less than two years.
In her mid-50s, Johnson said she plans to take some time off to figure out her next move. It could be in online sales, running estate sales or appraising art, antiques and collectable items, Johnson said.
“I have a lot of different options and I would like to stay with treasure hunting and working with people and find treasures for them, because that’s what I’m really passionate about,” Johnson said.
Johnson — an Edgewater resident and self-proclaimed “renaissance gal” — said she’s been “treasure hunting for over 40 years,” searching "through alleys and back roads" for nifty items and antiques.
“You just never know what you’re going to find,” said Johnson, who has found everything from “thousand dollar pieces of furniture,” to antique dolls on her treasure-hunting sprees. She Art opened at noon most days because she spent the morning hours on the hunt, said Johnson, who holds degrees in education and art from Northeastern Illinois University in Albany Park.
She announced that She Art would close last week in emails to customers, where she thanked "everyone who supported the store," including friends, customers and her partner Mercedes Corona.
"Thank you," the email said. "My new chapter will begin soon, whatever that may be, and I wish you all happy hunting."