LINCOLN PARK — This Chicago winter was the last straw for the owner of Lincoln Park's Thread Lounge.
The boutique is closing after four years at 918 W. Armitage Ave.
Owner Colleen Schmidt opened a San Francisco location in November and said it was too difficult traveling between the Midwest and West Coast.
That and the six months of Chicago weather that are unsuitable for shopping prompted her decision, she said.
"This winter was just absolutely ridiculous," Schmidt said. "I think this winter was the one that killed me."
Thread Lounge has been closed since early March, but will reopen Wednesday for a one- or two-week sale to liquidate the store.
The Lincoln Park Thread Lounge opened in spring 2009 and was the first permanent outpost of the designer sample sale store.
Before that, Schmidt had been in a number of pop-up locations in Lincoln Park.
Schmidt lived in San Francisco the entire time she operated the shop in Chicago but would spend a few months each summer here.
While she was in Bali this winter, a manager called her to ask if they should open the shop when the wind chill was around 40 below zero, Schmidt said.
"It was like, 'Oh my God. Are you kidding me?'" she said. "I can't do another one of these winters."
The success of the San Francisco store also influenced the decision to close the Lincoln Park location.
Instead of six great months followed by six slow ones, business is steady year-round in San Francisco, Schmidt said.
Schmidt, who grew up in Wisconsin, will be in town for the next two weeks until she is able to sell everything off.
"If I had lived there, there's no way I would have ever closed that store," she said. "I don't live there, and it's just too hard to run something remotely."
Schmidt's first company PJ's 2 Go, a high-end pajama and loungewear line, was carried by high-end boutiques and ended up on Oprah's Top 10 list for a number of years in the '90s.
Schmidt said she plans on re-entering the wholesale world while operating the San Francisco Thread Lounge.
"I'm going to miss all my fabulous loyal customers that I've had over the years," Schmidt said. "I've had some incredible, incredible people."