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Two Popular Boutiques Bidding Andersonville Adieu

By Adeshina Emmanuel | January 8, 2014 10:11am
 Urban Mischief and the Haymaker Shop are closing in mid-January and early February, respectively.
Haymaker and Urban Mischief Closing
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ANDERSONVILLE — The Haymaker Shop and Urban Mischief — two of Andersonville's trendiest boutiques — are closing.

Both stores have been staples of Andersonville's thriving Clark Street commercial corridor for nearly three years.

Haymaker, which sells locally made furniture and housewares, announced this week that the store at 5507 N. Clark St. is shuttering for good on Feb. 2, citing rising leasing rates and other issues.

Owner Arrin Williams said in a letter to customers and supporters about the closing: "After many sleepless nights, more restless days, and much soul searching, I have decided not to renew our lease."

Williams said "the landlord originally wanted to double my rent."

"I was able to negotiate it down to a mere 40 [percent] increase. But then I was offered no more than a [one]-year extension because they plan to sell the building. I decided I could not accept both the large increase in rent and the instability of a [one]-year lease within a building up for sale," Williams said.

Williams said competition from other businesses, weekend markets and pop-up shops focused on locally made wares "has arrived and continues to expand," diluting "the specialty of what I created" by opening Haymaker.

The Haymaker brand isn't dead though, according to Williams. He said he has ideas for "future retail iterations" of the shop outside of traditional brick and mortar, and will look back on his time in Andersonville with fondness and pride.

"We are proud to have helped raise awareness for local makers," Williams said. "We are proud to have helped educate consumers in the value of handmade; we are proud to have contributed to a new aesthetic, a new design vernacular, a new retail experience."

Haymaker's last day will be Feb. 2, and it's temporarily shuttered until Friday, when it kicks off it's closing sale with most items sold at a discount of at least 25 percent discount. The store will be open Friday through Sunday every week until it closes, with Tuesdays through Thursdays reserved for appointments and doorbell entry for customers and retail and design industry buyers.

Also closing is Urban Mischief, a boutique at 5135 N. Clark St. that sold vintage and new clothing, accessories for men and woman and home decor.

Urban Mischief will be open Jan. 9 to Jan. 12 for its swan song, and is holding a 50 percent off sale that includes store fixtures and display fixtures along with merchandise.

Owner Shelly Elfstrom said in an announcement to customers and friends on Jan. 3 that the Urban Mischief team "is not going away for good," but will partner with luxury mens clothier J Hillburn to "launch a new bespoke haberdashery venture" and become personal stylists for customers of the brand in the Chicago region.

"After nearly three years of thriving in beautiful Andersonville, we are being called away to explore new adventures and opportunities," said Elfstrom.