The Best of Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood With The Shudio

When checking out a new neighborhood, we prefer to consult the experts. So when the rad women behind The Shudio offered to show us around Pilsen in Chicago, our answer was obvious. Founded by Merl Kinzie, The Shudio is part sustainable store, part metalsmith studio, with a carefully curated selection of eco-conscious goods, handcrafted jewelry, alongside vintage clothing, accessories and home goods. And in case you can’t make it out they house that day, they also have an unreal online shop managed by Rachael Glasder. Their deep love for vintage started where most does – at a young age and on a budget. From there thrifting became all about the hunt for unique decor and standout clothing. Merl and Rachel’s appreciation for vintage, and vintage-inspired style, is unmistakable.

The Shudio is just one of the unique and charming storefronts in Pilsen, so we quizzed them on their favorite hangouts. Trust us, this list will make you want to hop on the next flight to Chicago.


Rawson Vintage Raw Hem Trench; Vintage shirt from The Shudio; Model’s own Rawson Vintage flares (similar here); Model’s own Everlane boots (similar here); Cylde’s Rebirth necklace (similar here). 


Rawson Vintage Penguin Coat; Vintage shift dress; Vintage black lace up boots; Cylde’s Rebirth necklace

1. There are several wonderful coffee spots, but we like Jumping Bean. Straightforward coffee and yummy bagel varieties.

2. While walking west on 18th Street, we like to pop into Pilsen Community Books to pick up the latest work by Sandra Cisneros. They have a beautiful selection of new works as well as a refined collection of vintage books, some of which we carry at The Shudio.


Vintage denim studio coat; Vintage top; Model’s own Rawson vintage sailor pants (similar here); CHC collection limited release bag; Model’s own L.L. Bean Signature clogs (similar here); Cylde’s Rebirth bracelet.

3. Not much further down on the same side of the street is Verdant Matter, a ceramics and plant store, with the prettiest vessels for indoor plants as well as natural self care products and thoughtful gift ideas.

4. Pilsen is known for its involvement in the arts and specifically it’s collection of murals on 16th Street. The large colorful mural shown is by artist Victor Reyes.


5. When it’s nice out, after closing up the shop, we like to stop by our friends’ garden to throw a little fresh cilantro in our corononitas.

6. The options for tacos are never-ending in this neighborhood, but we have collectively whittled down our favorites to: Atotonilco for fish tacos and Don Pedro’s for homemade tortillas. 

7. To experience a more-than-a-dive-bar-but-still-a-dive-bar, one must go to Skylark. With affordable drinks and flattering low lighting, this place is our favorite.


Vintage camel coat; Vintage Donna Mizar silk blouse; Model’s own vintage Levi 517’s (similar here); Model’s own Everlane boots (similar here); Model’s own Rayban sunglasses (similar here).

Models: Laura and Marg
Photographer: Merl Kinzie
Stylist: Rachael Glasder

Boutique scouting and road tripping with our co-founder Adele Tetangco

Recently, our co-founder Adele Tetangco drove all around America’s Midwest and south into Tennessee. She hit up places like Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis, scouting out the coolest designers and boutiques that she could find and, of course, having a ton of adventure (and food) along the way. Here, she shares some of her fave moments, people and places from the trip.

Meet the Designer: Mapa Collective

The adorable founder of MAPA Collective shares a peek behind the scenes and her favorite spots to visit in Colombia.

Paula Herrera was born in the United States and grew up all over the world: Guatemala, Greece, Spain, and finally landed in Chicago. Although she lived everywhere early in life, one thing always remained the same: her love of fashion. Everywhere she went, Paula would always collect handbags and accessories but her favorites pieces always came from Colombia, a major part of her heritage. After completing school, she worked as a management consultant in New York City, but decided that entrepreneurship and retail were really her thing. Paula realized how much her friends loved her global collection of accessories and wanted to make the unique pieces she found on her travels accessible to the world. So she created MAPA Collective, an accessories line she designs in Chicago and produces in Colombia. Sustainability and quality are of the upmost importance, so she works with both the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Colombian Ministry of Environment, Housing and Sustainable Development. Here we chat with the woman who’s bringing South American style to our doorstep.

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