Local Business Profile
By Ryan Fergus
Erin Gallagher Jewelry
Suburban Jewelry Maven Sets Her Sights On The Big City
Customization is an increasingly demanded service these days; it in fact seems that the modern consumer not only seeks, but also demands a product that is tailor - made to their exact specifications. While this trend continues to flourish in almost every kind of industry, customization in jewelry has lagged - and it’s this very movement that Erin Gallagher is trying to hasten.
“Women should be able to have their jewelry fit them like clothing” Gallagher relays from her soon-to-be open, self-titled boutique. “Currently that isn’t the trend.”
Growing up in LaGrange, where she attended Lyons Township High School, Gallagher prepped for her future career by working at Eye On Design in Hinsdale, taking classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and, most crucially, starting a small, home-operated jewelry business with her mother, Cathy. The partnership quickly grew, with the mother-and-daughter team getting their jewelry stocked in Bloomingdales department stores after only a year of working together. Things were moving forward- and quickly.
Then tragedy struck - cruelly, and without warning.
After Cathy Gallagher’s sudden death from advanced colorectal cancer, Erin, motivated by her mother’s love and confidence, decided to push onward with their dream. Her cousin and close friend, Melissa Bocker (herself a Downers Grove native), stepped in to help, working trade shows for the burgeoning company.
The next logical step for the duo was to open a studio; a home base of sorts where Gallagher and Bocker could continue to create, as well as allow customers to browse through a diverse selection of rare stones to create the perfect jewelry piece to accent a particular outfit or event.
That dream is finally coming to fruition September 28th, when Erin Gallagher Jewelry (1017 W. Lake St.) officially opens for business. As Gallagher puts it, “we are the only store in Chicago to my knowledge where women can customize their jewelry – specifically the type of stone, as well as the length and style of the chain.” The front end of the studio is concentrated towards the high-end pieces that make up the Erin Gallagher line. The rear of the store is dedicated to the plentiful customizable options available to customers.
The team, now including store manager (and Westchester resident) Lisa McSweeney, are putting the finishing touches on the boutique themselves- three young women hammering nails, sanding floors and assembling displays- all in preparation for the grand opening.
For Gallagher in particular, the feeling in the air is that of sweet promise. “I love our store…I love the fact that women will be able to come here and feel glamorous.”