ANDERSONVILLE — For years, Oner Hasturk’s leather goods have been a staple at craft fairs across Chicago and the Midwest.
Now, his brand has opened its first retail shop in town, debuting a storefront in Andersonville that hopes to be more than just a store.
Hasturk has been selling his Chicatolia brand of leather bags and other goods at markets and fairs across the country for five years, building up the brand. Finally, he was able to open his own a brick-and-mortar Chicatolia in late November at 5209 N. Clark St.
Though the store carries his brand’s name, Hasturk has collaborated with other local artists on the venture, and the shop carries artist-made goods from Chicago and throughout the world.
“We worked hard and we all have limited time,” Hasturk said of his time on the road at craft fairs. “It’s important to me to fulfill my artistic side. I said, ‘If I can’t have enough time to feed that, let me bring everyone here.'”
Chicatolia sells a mix of products, including Hasturk’s leather goods, locally-made terrariums, a wall of miniature paintings and a host of other gifts. Everything in the store is handmade, Hasturk said.
“We’re trying to reach everybody,” Hasturk said of the price points and products offered. “I want people to spend time here and have fun.”
The store also has a community space, which Hasturk plans to take ample advantage of.
Chicatolia has already held a fundraiser for a professor/artist who raises money for ALS research. On Dec. 14, the store will host a community holiday party, where families can take photos with Santa and decorate their own ornaments.
On regular business days, Hasturk offers coffee and tea in the store’s community space, free to patrons and neighbors. The idea is to be more than just a retail offering on a street full of small businesses.
“We want to bring a fun new place to the neighborhood,” Hasturk said.
An Andersonville resident, Hasturk said he looked at other neighborhoods to open his store. But he decided to stay near home, knowing how the community supports its small businesses.
“Andersonville, first of all, is a very artful neighborhood,” Hasturk said. “They support local shops a lot, and they’re very welcoming.”
Chicatolia is open at 5209 N. Clark St from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
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