Buy What You Love - Eskell

Eskell - BADWAX

If you're interested in interior design, decor and unique furniture, continue reading our interview with Kelly Whitesell, owner of Eskell, located in Chicago, Illinois. 

What's your business and who are your customers?

Eskell is an interior focused lifestyle store located in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. We have really evolved into sort of our own version of a general store since moving to our new location in 2018. I jokingly refer to Eskell as a department store but we do have a lot of departments. We are a collection of furniture, fine jewelry, women's clothing, textiles, rugs, games, antiques, apothecary, books, fragrance and definitely gifts- the list goes on. We have been open as a store since 2005, which began as a women's clothing store in Lincoln Park, we then moved to Wicker Park in 2008 and then we built and opened our Bucktown location at 2029 N. Western Ave. in 2018. So we have cultivated a lot of great relationships with clients in the last 17 years in business. A lot of people have grown with us as a store but we are getting discovered both online and in store by new people daily. Our customer base is very diverse. We have something for everyone and I really enjoy that. When we were a women's clothing store I was always wanting to have things for men but I was never sure about diving into mens clothing. So I love that we have been building men into our fan base since expanding at our new location as well. In addition to the store we also offer Home Staging services. We have been staging for the last 6 years. We work with both agents and sellers to arrange and style homes and to maximize to their sales potential once they hit the market.
I don't really follow any rules as far as our curation of what we carry, except for that I have to love it. I really like being able to freely curate Eskell and the no rules approach gives the store an element of surprise. I think that keeps Eskell fresh for me, my team and for our customers. My only real philosophy that I follow for buying in general is to buy what you love. If you love it you will find a place for it and it is what makes your home unique and meaningful.

BADWAX Candles - Eskell Chicago

Tell us about yourself

I studied Fashion Design at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and so Fashion Design really drove me in the direction of opening Eskell at first. As things evolved, my interests moved into more of a home interior direction. Once I came to terms with not wanting to be only a clothing store, everything just fell into place. As far as a day to day-I always want people to relax, shop and explore at Eskell and to know that they can count on us when seeking out unique finds. I feel lucky to be able to do what I love-it is definitely fun, most of the time.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I have an amazing team that is the star power behind Eskell. Managing a family and a business can be madness. I am super lucky to have a supportive team. Time for everything is always the challenge.

What are some tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Follow your passion and figure out what makes you tick. Do your research and find likeminded businesses that you admire but define yourself by your unique strengths. Hire a team you can count on that brings input and opinions to the table.

Where can people find you and your business?






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