Strolling into Ponnopozz Studio is like getting into one other dimension—an exuberant jungle of saturated colours and full of life prints. “Procuring at Ponnopozz is a complete expertise,” says proprietor and artist Adrianne Hawthorne, who painted an enormous mural that greets clients together with her signature motifs. “My store is actually an extension of me and my paintings,” she says. “It’s an ever-evolving piece of efficiency artwork, between the way in which it’s arrange, to the merchandise I resolve to hold or cease carrying, to the work I create there, to the shoppers that fill it every weekend. If you go to my store, you’re getting into a bit of my world, one thing very particular and pricey to me that I hope brings you emotions of happiness, pleasure and playfulness. That makes you pause and smile, or suppose in a different way about one thing.”
It began in the summertime of 2019, when Hawthorne determined to hire a Penske shifting truck to showcase her paintings. She named it “PenskePozz,” paying homage to Ponno and Pozzer—her two imaginary childhood pals. “I had a ton of authentic artwork on the market on the time and wished to have a present however I didn’t wish to do it in a conventional manner. I’d all the time considered doing one thing in a shifting truck as a result of they’re such utilitarian autos—why not reimagine one as one thing enjoyable and thrilling? I do imagine the ‘PenskePozz’ present led to me discovering and leasing my studio and retailer simply two weeks later. The truck was like a tiny boutique on wheels and I had a blast getting it arrange. The turnout was fabulous and gave me the increase of confidence I wanted to lastly signal for a store of my very own.”
Hawthorne, who all the time dreamed of getting a boutique of her personal, opened her storefront in November of 2019, not too lengthy earlier than COVID-19 hit. Her store was closed from March till July 2020, and she or he used that break to concentrate on her artwork tasks. The truth that she is a Consumer Expertise Designer at Google helped her navigate the disaster: “I discover [having another job] offers me a wholesome sense of steadiness. The revenue relieves the stress of counting on Ponnopozz for every little thing—with that stress eliminated, I’ve the area in my mind to create artwork and different enjoyable issues.” When Ponnopozz reopened, Hawthorne spotlighted BIPOC artists each Saturday. Then final November she launched her on-line store, which introduced in plenty of vacation gross sales. “Individuals are excited and able to help native companies and that’s one optimistic factor that got here out of final yr. I’m wanting forward this yr and have hopes to broaden the shop and the shop’s hours someday within the late fall of 2021,” she says.
At Ponnopozz Studio, Hawthorne at the moment provides an array of clothes, equipment, books, puzzles, stationery, playing cards, cosmetics, and residential items—moreover her personal paintings, in each prints and originals. Her costs are inexpensive, contemplating nothing in her store is mass-produced. Clothes costs vary from $35 to $175, masks common $12, and equipment value $5 to $100. Hawthorne’s personal artwork prints begin at $25, and authentic works at $100. She additionally sells pillows, stationery, clothes (in collaboration with native model Lilla Barn), and iPhone instances that includes her designs, which regularly depict summary crops and landscapes in brilliant colours paired in surprising methods. A few of the manufacturers Ponnopozz carries are Nooworks (clothes from San Francisco, California), Piecework Puzzles (from Indianapolis), Night Moves Atelier (equipment from Ontario), and Halo (skincare from Port Washington, Wisconsin). There are plenty of gadgets from Chicago as nicely; Hawthorne highlights the work of native, Black-owned manufacturers like physique butters by Olije Body Care, earrings by Vintage Royalty, and leather-based jewellery by K~FLEYE.
“I all the time search for issues which can be colourful, enjoyable and playful,” she says. “I don’t carry issues from giant manufacturers—every little thing in my store is from a small model or an area, impartial maker. I try to hold a variety of merchandise and to highlight women-led and BIPOC-led companies.” Hawthorne is worked up to supply such a range: “I’m grateful that I can specific myself by means of my artwork and thru my curation of an expertise—a buying expertise. It’s very fulfilling and a artistic outlet that I can not think about dwelling with out. Proudly owning a store has been eye opening, enjoyable, scary and really satisfying—I’m thrilled that I lastly did it!”
Ponnopozz Studio and Retailer, 4824 North Damen, Suite 1, Thursdays 4-7 pm, Saturdays 10-5 pm, Appointments by request through e-mail
Journalist Isa Giallorenzo was born in São Paulo, Brazil and has elected Chicago as her beloved residence since 2009. She runs the street-style weblog Chicago Seems and needs to see this city change into one of many style capitals of the world.