Three shops became one with Clever Girl
Clever Girl on Burglinton Avenue celebrates its 4th anniversary this month. | Viki Gonia~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 20, 2012 8:27AM
Western Springs is home to several lovely shops, including Clever Girl, located at 907 Burlington. Full of sweet and whimsical accessories, clothing, jewelry and home decor items, Clever Girl celebrated its fourth anniversary in early April.
Since its opening, Clever Girl has filled the niche that opened when longtime Western Springs shop Kings & Queens closed its doors many years ago by offering items to suit a wide range of ages and interests. But Clever Girl isn’t entirely new to the area — it came from the combination of Abigail Rose and Finnie McClure, both formerly of Hinsdale, as well as French Toast, which closed its Hinsdale doors in February 2009.
Owner Katie McMillan’s mother owned and operated the stores in Hinsdale. Moving to Western Springs was an easy decision.
“We love the space,” she says. “This was a chance to put all three stores together under one roof.”
McMillan also lives in Western Springs.
“As a born-and-raised Western Springs resident, we were really happy to come here,” she says, adding the village and residents really seemed to want the shop what the shop offers.
“There’s this great small-town atmosphere,” McMillan continues. “We get to know our customers and their kids, and people come in with their dogs.”
Michelle McGrath has worked for Clever Girl since it opened, and worked for the shops in Hinsdale as well.
“My favorite thing about working here is the customers,” she says. “They’re terrific. We have a lot of regulars.”
McGrath enjoys the neighborhood, too.
“Western Springs has been very good to us,” she says. “It’s a nice place to be.”
“There’s a kind of wholesomeness all around,” says McMillan. “I know it might sound corny, but it’s very refreshing.”
The shop was voted a favorite in the “Most Unique Gift Shop” category in West Suburban Living magazine’s annual “Best of the West” suburbs list.
McMillan appreciates the value so many Western Springs residents place on shopping local.
“Western Springs are really cognizant of that. People want good stores to remain and actively support local business, searching in town first for what they need before going elsewhere.”
Clever Girl strives to be like a little department store. Something for baby, a dress for a graduation party, or gifts for nearly anyone.
“We try to cover all the bases and provide a unique variety at good prices. And all in a fun and lively atmosphere,” says McMillan.
The shop boasts a sales staff that has been an important part of the business for many years, and that makes running the shop a pleasure for McMillan.
“When you have someone like Michelle, who has been with us for 16 years, you don’t find that much anymore. It’s wonderful.”
Visit the Clever Girl website at http://shopclevergirl.com to see what the store has to offer, or call (708) 246-5050. Clever Girl is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.