PORTAGE PARK — The husband-and-wife duo behind a colorful Far Northwest Side shop are hoping community support will help them stay in business after a tough year.
Home Line Decoration, also called Al-Bazzar, at 4358 N. Cicero Ave. sells handmade lamps, tapestries, rugs, dishware and home goods imported from Turkey. But it could close for good by the end of the year if sales don’t pick up, owner Yousef Barakat said.
The owners are having a close-out sale to empty its inventory before ordering new merchandise — a test to see if the store can survive, Barakat said.
“From here to December, I want to see how is the business and how are sales going to be,” Barakat said. “If I get good sales, maybe I will keep it open.”
Barakat said the most recent shipment of goods cost him $12,000, with such shipments inflating because of the pandemic. He needs to make that money up in revenue for the business to survive. If not, he will consider closing, though it’s not what he wants to do.
“It’s a beautiful store … but it would be nicer if I could sell the merchandise,” he said. “I need to support the family and [want] to keep the business.”
Barakat and his wife, Kholoud Ghaith, opened the shop in 2018. It’s become known for its colorful lights.
Barakat moved to the United States from Turkey in the 90s and settled in Chicago before he and his wife, Kholoud Ghaith, went to Puerto Rico to open their own store.
But Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, and the family lost their home and their store. They packed up what was left and returned to Chicago, where they opened Home Line Decoration.
The shop sits at the corner of Montrose and Cicero. Each of its hundreds of lamps has a unique glass mosaic design, and are all handmade in Turkey, the owner said.
“Over the decades, and during wars, this has been a tradition in Turkey,” Barakat previously told Block Club. “A long time ago, they used to make these mosaic lamps during the Ottoman Empire, long before electricity, and lit them with candles.”
When Home Line Decoration opened, business was good, Barakat said. They tried to sell items online but saw more in-person sales, so they stopped offering online sales, he said.
But foot traffic and sales have fallen during the pandemic, Barakat said.
Barakat hopes neighbors will shop at his store, especially for the holidays. He said his lamps are great gifts. The store also sells small stools in colorful patterns.
“These are good for the bedroom … you can sit and talk, and they’re nice,” he said.
During the close-out sale, small lamps start at $35 and go up to $55 depending on the size, while larger lamps with multiple bulbs start at $115, down from $150.
Porcelain home goods like vases, plates and bowls start at $10 and go up to $30 depending on the size and artwork.
Barakat is grateful for finding a new home on the Northwest Side but hopes to see more people come help “keep us standing on our feet.”
Home Line Decoration is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. People can call the shop at 312-539-5633 to place a lamp on hold if they see any they like from the window.
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