Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow Tuesday night kept over two hundred ladies from making the rounds in 26 stores and 4 restaurants in downtown Glen Ellyn. (View Photos Here)
While the snowy streets and sidewalks seemed calm, inside the shops and restaurants were hopping with spirited conversations, cocktails and delectable treats - and, most importantly, finding treasures. At Bells & Whistles Snackery, Tracey Kreiling offered a table full of wonderful treats including Lobster Bisque in shot glasses and a flowing rich chocolate fondue fountain.
Katie Heath accompanied by Wheaton friends Jill Chapman and Emily Fedyski stopped at Teas and Toes to enjoy a complimentary reflexology treatment, and sample one of the 34 teas they offer.
Carol Swetka, owner of Dancing Lights, expressed surprise in the turn out on such a wintry night. “We’re having a great night,” Swetka said. “More ladies are taking their time browsing at the merchandise and hanging out in our store.” Customers Wendy Garland and Carrie Germain laughed and enjoyed Dancing Lights. Asked if they had participated in prior Ladies Night Out events, they responded, “this is our virgin ladies night out!”
At The Bookstore, store owner Sue Kowalski chatted with longtime Glen Ellyn resident Mary “Mel” Lane, who was joined with friend Jeanne Enright. Jeanne found a book, How Not to Look Old. “I’m getting this for all my friends,” Enright said laughing that she might browse though it first. Lane was particularly excited about a purchase of Glen Ellyn note cards at Renaissance Art Studios and a beautifully gift wrapped ornament from Paisley on Main. “This is a great teacher gift,” she added, “look how beautiful the box is!”
At String Theory, a store specializing in handmade knitted clothing and knitting supplies, owner Janet Avila pointed out a large table in the middle of her store. It displayed an assortment of hand knitted scarves wrapped around wooden branches. The scarves have special meaning this holiday season. “All these scarves were made by customers and 100% of proceeds are donated to PADS, a homeless advocacy agency,” Schermeier said. Since December 1, String Theory has raised over $1,500 in scarf sales ranging in price from $20 to $90.
At Knickers of Glen Ellyn, Kathryn Hudson, pointed to a hot red tank and short combo as a hot seller this season. Knickers offers a huge selection of women’s lingerie. The merchandise “helps make women feel comfortable and more confident,” Hudson says. She added, “this has been an excellent night. It gives ladies a chance to laugh and have fun together.” But Hudson acknowledges that men like to shop there too. Knickers will be having a storewide “Mens Night Out” on Tuesday, December 22. “We’ve had several hundred men stop by to shop in previous years just a few days before Christmas,” Hudson said. Does she think men wait until the last minute? Not particularly, “we’ve seen some men clients come in early this year fearing the selection of merchandise may not be available closer to Christmas,” she added.
M&Em’s had a good turnout as well. “This has been a great evening for us,” Kim Fuller, store owner, said. Laura Meehan who recently moved to Glen Ellyn from Chicago on October 1 was enjoying her first Ladies Night Out. She inspected necklaces by Glen Ellyn artist Kathryn Alcock and suggested buying “Zoobs, it’s a great child toy and alternative to Legos.”
There was a crowd in Georgia Rae, which offered custom necklaces and ear rings, and gourmet chocolate.
At The Bike Shop, Rich Ducar chatted with customers. “We’ve had good traffic tonight,” Ducar said. “It’s a great event. We sold headlights and tail lights, jerseys. We just like the exposure so people know what type of merchandise we carry in addition to bicycles.”
In one of Glen Ellyn’s smallest shops it was very crowded. But having 2 or more customers in the Queens Closet makes it a tight fit. The store’s small 150 square foot space doesn’t measure up to store owner Michael Perich’s reputation as the “cosmetic king of Chicago.” Perich enjoys his Glen Ellyn closet, and makes women laugh and look great. He recently did make-up for Joan Rivers for a local show. In addition to the Camp Cosmetic line, the Queens Closet features a line of sheered mink and rabbit scarves. “This is a great product because the animals are sheered, not killed,” Perich pointed out. The scarves come in 3 color combinations.
For most ladies trying to stay warm and keep the evening fun alive found lively music at Cab’s or Tap House. At Cab’s, chef and owner Luis Allyon jammed with musician David Kinney to serenade the ladies night out.