Oak Park shop offers style for less
Pamela Walls is one of the owners of Society Girls Shop in the Harrison Street Arts District. The boutique, which she operates with sister Traci Weathers, offer resale and consignment items along with some new merchandise. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Med
Society Girls Shop
128 Harrison St., Oak Park
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information, call 708-359-2069 or email email@example.com.
Updated: February 19, 2013 9:18AM
OAK PARK — As resale and consignment stores offer more upscale items and focus on attractive presentation, Pamela Walls and Traci Weathers believe shoppers are realizing they can get stylish pieces for less.
“I think it’s just a trend now, that a lot of people feel more comfortable with resale shops,” Walls said.
With that in mind, sisters Walls and Weathers in November opened resale boutique Society Girls Shop, at 128 Harrison St. in the Oak Park Arts District.
They intended to sell mostly used and some new clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories for high school- and college-aged girls. They’ve since expanded their offerings to include items for men and older women, as well.
The sisters said the arts district is a place they have always wanted to be, and they’ve found the neighborhood to be welcoming.
“They’re very creative in this area, and very diverse,” Walls said.
Another resale shop on Harrison Street, The Brown Elephant, has found success in the arts district, said Laura Maychruk, owner of The Buzz Café and president of the Oak Parks Arts District Business Association.
Society Girls Shop differs by selling higher-end items specifically tailored to young women, she said.
“Of course, we’re always excited to have new businesses in our district,” Maychruk said.
Weathers and Walls are also the creators of educational film company Society Girls Productions and the Society Girls Club, a Christian social networking group for girls in fifth through 12th grades that meets monthly at the store.
Their films address bullying, self-defense and alcoholism, and the group focuses on these topics plus others, including fashion and etiquette.
“This is sort of an extension of the Society Girls Productions, which led to the club, which led to the shop,” Walls said. “So it’s all under that one umbrella.”
The women are passionate about working with girls and helping them become confident women, and they wanted to open a resale shop for girls that coincided with the brand, Walls said.
“A lot of college students are really into resale items,” Weathers said.
The shop sells new items as well as resale and consignment. Walls and Weathers are the buyers for the store, picking out items they like and think will sell. Everything from casual clothes to handbags to formal dresses hangs from the shop’s racks.
The sisters take pride in the appearance of the boutique, which they said some customers don’t realize is a resale shop.
“That’s our credo, you know: Look fabulous for less,” Weathers said.
Both Weathers and Walls said they enjoy retail as it offers the opportunity to interact with people. It’s rewarding to see familiar faces and know shoppers by name.
“I like being able to be creative in what we do,” Walls said.
“I like seeing smiles on peoples’ faces while shopping. You’ve helped them achieve a goal,” Weathers added.
They’ve seen steady business at the shop since opening, with some customers making the trip from neighboring suburbs. Walls and Weathers said the arts district’s easy access from I-290 helps.