Earlier this month, local business FLAIR (3415 W. Fullerton Ave.) announced on Facebook it would be closing its doors Aug. 31. But owner Melissa Elliot said it’s not the end of the business—it will still sell its local, unique items at its online store.
The specialty shop known for patches and pins showcasing art from local folks—mostly in the LGBTQ communty—has created a following in the last few years and a name in the neighborhood, but it hasn’t helped Elliot afford rent each month.
“When I signed the lease, a slew of new businesses were supposed to be opening on our block and that just hasn’t happened,” she told LoganSquarist. “I think it’ll be a great spot in a year or two, but we can’t hang on that long.”
West Logan Square has seen new businesses open up and gentrification is hitting farther down Fullerton Avenue, but not it is not as congested as denser parts of the neighborhood.
Since she opened the physical store in December 2017 (and at the current space in September 2017), FLAIR has expanded to become a community-focused organization featuring art, drag shows and local pop-ups. She writes in the Facebook post, in part:
“I’ve been putting so much into FLAIR since I opened in December 2016. Our first location was the result of blood, sweat, tears, and a desire to showcase small wares from marginalized makers who may not otherwise have a platform. We outgrew that space and moved in September 2017 to a larger space to showcase more makers, host art and drag shows! FLAIR was fully created from LOVE and I am so proud of all the rad things we’ve done TOGETHER. I could not have done it without SO many of you!”
While Elliott is ending her chapter for the brick-and-mortar store, she told LoganSquarist the shop’s e-commerce business will still be available for customers to get their hands on all of their favorite artsy bling online.
“I had been selling my own enamel pin designs as Sabretooth Dream since 2015 and thought opening a boutique where I could showcase wares from small makers sounded fun,” Elliot said, looking back on the beginning of FLAIR’s physical store. “I wanted a place where marginalized communities that don’t always get the exposure they deserve could be seen and supported.”
FLAIR will be hosting a farewell party for its shop Aug. 31, which will have Pie, Pie my Darling popping up at 3 p.m., and starting at 6 p.m. a DJ, free beer, and a raffle that includes an $80 gift certificate to Wild Wind Tattoo and gift certificates to its online store.