The cat signal on the store window says the whole lot. “I’ve two cats [Sweet Pea and Naomi] that I convey to the store once I’m in,” says Adrianne Hawthorne, 36, the proprietor of Ponnopozz Studio and Retailer in Ravenswood (4839 N. Damen). “The store has an indication within the window indicating if a kitty is in, and, in that case, which one. Customers are at all times welcome to pet the kitties and socialize with them.” Pleasure, kindness, and honest enthusiasm are on the coronary heart of Hawthorne’s enterprise. And effectivity too. In addition to operating her boutique (brick-and-mortar and on-line at ponnopozz.com), making her artwork (which she sells at Ponnopozz and a number of stockists), and tirelessly selling her enterprise, Hawthorne additionally has a full-time job at Google as a consumer expertise designer. “My Google job is distant and operates on Pacific time, so I normally do Ponnopozz issues within the morning after which check in to my day job. Since I’m distant, I typically work from my artwork studio. It’s exhausting some days to juggle them, however total, it helps my nervousness understanding I’ve a gentle paycheck and it provides me extra room to play with Ponnopozz, which is the place I run wild,” she says. No marvel Hawthorne named her store after two imaginary pals she had as a toddler, Ponno and Pozzer: “The title is about returning again to the unbridled creativity that youngsters really feel,” she explains.
Hawthorne’s journey from working at Google in San Francisco—giving her all, however feeling unfulfilled—to shifting again to Chicago—making artwork, however feeling anxious about her funds—to lastly combining the 2 and discovering some stability, is detailed in her weblog, Ponno Ponderings. Accessible as a bit in her on-line store, Hawthorne’s weblog is stuffed with honesty about her private and creative development, and really helpful suggestions for artists attempting to create or handle a enterprise. Vulnerability and generosity are evident in her musings, current in her Instagram posts as nicely. Hawthorne not solely publicizes her personal work; she’s usually mentioning different artists, designers, neighboring companies, and worthy causes. She additionally shares her storefront with performers and storytellers corresponding to Sierra Carter and Kayla Mulliniks, who have been looking for an indoor house to host their You Are Right here collection. Within the second iteration of her boutique Hawthorne has extra sq. footage to accommodate larger occasions, together with her workshops.
Hawthorne’s proto-shop began in the summertime of 2019 at the back of a Penske truck adorned with polka-dot balloons, a bright-colored Oriental rug, and loads of her artwork throughout it, full with hors d’oeuvres and the assistance of her ever-supportive boyfriend, Seth Thomas. “I simply considered it out of nowhere,” she says. “I bear in mind desirous to do one other artwork present since I had lots of work that wanted new properties, and I didn’t have a retailer but. I didn’t need to present at a gallery however I needed one thing small, attention-grabbing, and simple. A shifting truck appeared sudden and enjoyable. It type of jogged my memory of the accessibility of meals vehicles and I simply usually thought it could be a swell thought. It turned out to be a beautiful approach to promote art work. Lots of people stopped by, many unexpectedly, and it felt (like only for a second) that I owned my very own boutique. Shortly after that present, I lastly signed a lease on my first house on Damen.”
Final October, Ponnopozz moved simply throughout the road, with additional house for Hawthorne’s artwork studio and much more of her well-curated stock. The boutique is the proper place for some retail remedy, since in addition to the lovable kitties, there’s a cheer-up impact supplied by the exuberant store decor itself and all of the colourful items she gives. Hawthorne sells candles ($20-$28), attire ($30-$168), jewellery ($30-$50), stationery ($5-$40), pillows ($40), puzzles ($20-$38), and different residence decor objects. She carries manufacturers corresponding to Nooworks (clothes), Chunks (hair equipment), Baggu (baggage), and Poketo (miscellaneous). Native manufacturers embrace Okay-Fleye jewellery, Nicolet Candle, Edgewater Candles, Casa 184, The Classic Royalty, Lilla Barn clothes, Halo cleaning soap, XO Marshmallow, and Drawn Items. Hawthorne favors reward objects which might be domestically made, or come from small companies. She additionally sells her personal art work: originals vary from $40-$475, and prints from $25-$75. Her work will also be seen on a variety of merchandise and collaborations, corresponding to wrapping paper, playing cards, clothes, equipment, pillows, and now even armchairs and a e book that teaches readers paint tarot playing cards in her fashion (out there for pre-order, $22.99). “I completely love seeing folks expertise pleasure in my store,” Hawthorne says. “Ponnopozz is for all of us. It’s a spot the place we could be our true selves.”