I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I love certain stores and designers and the reason is always the same: It’s all about point-of-view. In my opinion the reason that businesses are able to stay successful, strong, and relevant — even in a struggling economy — is because they are consistent. They have a point-of-view. There is something that they specialize in, something that is innately who they are, that always manages to come through. I’ve heard myself lately telling store owners that what I love about their stores is that not only do they have a very distinct point-of-view, they have the courage and dedication to stick to that point-of-view. They created stores out of who they are. They have grown and changed and evolved as people, but the feeling is always the same. I have a couple of favorite Chicago places that I feel embody this, but I’ll start with this one:
The lady. Pretty. Classy. Sophisticated. Cool. Everyone that knows this store — regardless of whether or not they know Helen herself — knows that Helen Yi is a lady. You can tell when you walk through the door that Helen loves beautiful, feminine, stylish clothes. And she loves being a woman. She obviously created a store dedicated to this point-of-view. The individual styles and trends may change, but the feeling is always the same. Each season, Helen manages to go out and find great designers. Not just “the next big thing,” but great designers that speak to her distinct point-of-view. Because, after all, that’s who she is. That’s what she loves, that’s what she’s passionate about, and that’s why you go to her when you want to feel like a lady.