WICKER PARK — A vacant American Family Insurance storefront empty for more than a year will soon house a purse and accessories boutique.
Simona Calla at 2124 W. Division St., just west of the busy Damen Avenue and Division Street intersection, plans to open in mid-October next to One Strange Bird.
The boutique is a collaboration between second cousins Carmen Boada and Rafael Remiro.
Boada, 26, who lives in Evanston, said she will run the store, while Ramiro, 32, who lives in Venuzuela and is a fashion designer, will supply the store with his original handbags and other accessories such as wallets.
"Division Street is eclectic and full of so many interesting and different shops. We are excited to be part of it," said Boada, a graphic designer.
Remiro's purses will be made of leather and faux leather and an array of fabrics. The handbags will feature designs that have somewhat of "an edge," Boada said.
Purse prices will range from $80 to $200; accessories will range from $40 to $80, Boada said.
Neighbors are heralding the signs of life in the storefront, which was leased out by broker Andrea Miller.
Jen Landaal, 30, a sales representative who lives above the storefront, said she's "happy to see a new tenant" because the street-level space has been vacant at least a year since an American Family Insurance agent moved out.
Simona Calla has no website or phone yet, Boada said.