With her new boutique, Gina De La Mora hopes to bring more than repurposed furniture to customers, she hopes to create a community gathering space.
Walk into La Grange's newest boutique, Painted Rubbish, and you'll know immediately that it's not the average consignment shop.
That's because De La Mora, wants the store to be a place where the community can meet, enjoy coffee or take a class; not just browse the collection of furniture on display.
The owner of another business in Westmont, De La Mora said she's been conducting estate sales for a while now and visits them all the time. With her latest venture, she hopes the fresh paint on the furniture will give the La Grange boutique a unique feel, whether it's the bright red china cabinet or a multicolored dresser.
"No more doilies and teacups," she said. "Everything has a vintage, industrial feel."
Along with furniture, there's a lot offered: flasks, pocket knives, watches, jewelry and much more. The items De La Mora finds are intriguing enough, but what could keep people coming back is the artsy atmosphere she's trying to create.
"We want this to be a place people can come and hang out," she said.
Coffee and WiFi certainly help that cause, and there's meeting space available; for example, a local book club already reached out to ask about meeting there. And, she is planning open mic nights on the weekends, and classes starting in April will feature local residents teaching a wide range of topics, including guitar lessons, knitting, Photoshop, drawing and furniture painting.
It's got the chance to become a hub for the arts in La Grange. Her son, Gabriel De La Mora, has his artwork showcased in the store, and three other artists from La Grange also have their work hanging in the business.
As for the furniture, that's a work of art, too. De La Mora has an interior architecture degree. She said she's been painting furniture since she was 9 years old.
"That was my first spanking, the first time I got in trouble," De La Mora said, adding she paints everything herself, "It's just whatever I'm feeling at that moment."
And, she's got a lot to work with: De La Mora runs estate sales through her business, but she is also attending them any chance she gets so she can discover new items to feature.
"I went to an estate sale on the way into work today," she said. "I'm somewhat of a junkie."
Painted Rubbish opened on March 4 and is located just off La Grange Road at 20 W. Harris St., La Grange. Contact the business at 708-469-7934. Find Painted Rubbish on Facebook.