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Meet the Muse: Winifred Grace, a Chicago-Based Designer and Boutique

Winifred Grace is a Chicago based designer and boutique with thoughtfully curated apparel, handmade shoes, one-of-a-kind keep sakes, vintage rugs, and jewelry. The light-filled spot has become a place where people are inspired to connect, open-up, lift-up, and be authentic. 

We met Winifred while in Chicago for the Renegade Craft Faire and we have been obsessed ever since. We are so excited that you can shop Minori at the boutique. We chatted with Winifred to learn more about her story, shopping philosophy, what makes her feel confident, and more! 

Tell us about your store! What led you to where you are now and opening Winifred Grace?

Thank you so much for asking! In 2003 I started designing and wholesaling a line of jewelry called Winifred Grace. In 2014, I opened our brick & mortar of the same name in an effort to make it easier for customers to shop our designs and experience the brand on a more intimate level. The shop is located in the neighborhood where my family & I live so it felt really special to invest in to my own community. Initially we carried only jewelry, a few accessories and vintage items, but we did not have a dressing room so not much at all in the way of clothing. As our clientele expanded so did we and now 9 years later we are in a light-filled corner space featuring a wide variety of apparel, handmade footwear, jewelry, skincare, accessories, and one-of-a-kind vintage items. Not to mention we are Chicago’s premiere permanent jewelry experience! We just love being able to offer our community so much of what they want!

At Minori, we talk a lot about mindful consumption and inviting things into your life that spark joy. Do you have a personal philosophy that helps guide you when shopping for yourself or your store?

Oh my gosh YES. A dirty secret of mine is that I actually despise most “stuff.” My husband always tells me not to share this with anyone since I own a shop! But, I actually think it’s an important thing for customers to know. I take a “quality-over-quantity" approach to my own life and it translates in to how I buy for Winifred Grace. It means I’m not just going to fill the shop with “stuff": I’m going to fill it with good, quality items that I have spent hours searching for and want to share because they’re that great.

Being a business owner can keep you very busy. What activities or hobbies do you like to do outside of work to feel balanced? 

At 51 I see more and more the importance of staying physically strong and healthy. Strength training and cardio keep me sane. I take LOTS of baths (like lots. Like I can’t remember the last shower I took). Try to nap often and unapologetically. I adore baking with our son. When the weather is nice, I LOVE to work in our garden. And a deep love of mine is interior design: I will forever be evolving our home and helping friends with theirs.

What's the best beauty advice you've received?

To let my over-plucked eyebrows grow back to their natural shape and thickness. Game changer.

What is your favorite Minori Product?

The cream blush for sure! I use it on my cheeks AND lips and love how natural it looks!

Who inspires you when it comes to fashion/beauty?

Lauren Hutton. She is a stunning natural beauty who is aging so gracefully. She has not had work done on her face (if she has it is near impossible to tell), and she does not wear much make-up at all. She has an effortless style that easily toggles between masculine and feminine.

What makes you feel confident?

Ooooh this is a tricky one since I naturally have a low self-esteem BUT I've discovered hard work and commitment (to myself) to be one of the greatest acts of self-love there is. Seeing that hard work pay off makes me feel confident, whether it’s my commitment to strength-training and seeing my body get stronger, my commitment to sobriety, going to therapy and getting life-changing clarity, or my commitment to my business and watching it soar.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know more about Winifred Grace! For more, follow @winifredgrace on Instagram.



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