Vintage Holiday Inn Ashtrays
Lest anyone think we've gotten "too big for our britches", or that P.O.S.H. has somehow become...well, too posh, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike Eloise, we did not live in the penthouse of the Plaza Hotel. In fact, the Holiday Inn was much more our speed. On our family vacations, we would drive to Florida in a car without air conditioning and be thrilled with our accommodations at the Holiday Inn. And if it happened to be one of the fancy Holiday Inns with an indoor pool...well, we thought we had struck gold!
In case you're unfamiliar with the inn, allow me to share a bit of history:
Founded in 1920 as a quarterly trade publication showcasing the best homes in California, Architectural Digest has become one of the most respected interior design magazines in the world. With 8 international editions published as well, it truly is "The International Design Authority" - as its subtitle suggests.
Imagine our excitement when we received a phone call that Architectural Digest...the Architectural Digest wanted to photograph our shop for their magazine. "You want to feature P.O.S.H.?...little ol' P.O.S.H.?" It still makes us blush with excitement when we think of it!
"Built as an artists' studios in 1894, with additions in 1912-13, Chicago's Tree Studios have been restored and remodeled. One shop behind the Queen Anne-style facade is P.O.S.H., a home decor and tabletop store chockablock with vintage and antique china and silverware from old hotels and inns around the United States and Europe. The space, visited by Linda Searl, is divided into sections that suggest a turn-of-the-century French hotel, complete with hotel-style mail slots behind the cash register."
Thank you, Architectural Digest. We are honored to have been a part of your influential magazine.
O At Home Magazine
Who wouldn't love a shout-out by the one-and-only Oprah Winfrey? Oprah has never been in our shop...but we have had the pleasure of meeting several of her producers and others in her inner sanctum. Our very first "Oprah-mention" came in the form of a short video clip of our shop that aired on her über-popular television show about 12 years ago. It was a breath-taking example of the reach and influence of this amazing woman. The day that brief segment ran, our phone was ringing off the hook with people wanting to know more about P.O.S.H. The most surprising call came from a woman in Holland who somehow thought we were "Oprah's shop", as she put it.
We're extremely grateful for each and every media mention, but it's a fact: when Oprah speaks, people listen. Thank you, Oprah! If you're ever in the neighborhood, do stop in - we would love to thank you in person!
"Hotels have become hot spots for decorating ideas and five-star shopping." "Before World War II, guests dined at tables set with silver; mix-and-match originals, reconditioned and replated, like the ones at P.O.S.H. add an elegance to everyday dining."
Pinocchio Marionette - From Mexico With Love
If ever there was a miserable month in Chicago, it's probably the month of February. Yes, there is the one bright spot of Valentine's Day, but beyond that, the festive holiday season is long over, the first day of spring is still almost 2 months away, only a few brave souls venture out to shop and outside the window there is nothing but grey skies and dirty snow.
In an attempt to remain sane, I've taken to using the slow, dreary month of February as a time to escape to the sunny climes of Mexico. It has really become a mental health break: a time to pause, to recharge my batteries and to begin to feel human again. Being the obsessive person I am, however, I can never fully let go. Thus, I find myself drawn to the thrill of the hunt at the flea market - even while "getting away from it all" in Mexico.
The one market in Mexico that I always enjoy is found in the sprawling city of Mexico City. It is held on Sundays and is called La Lagunilla, named after the neighborhood where it is located. There are permanent vendors that are open every day of the week selling everything from bridal dresses to car parts, but on Sundays the place really comes alive as street vendors spill out into the neighborhood selling antiques and collectibles. This antique market is referred to as a tianguis (the Aztec word for an open-air market) or as mercado de pulgas (Spanish for flea market).
I've found everything there: from real European antiques (lovely but expensive), to charming Mexican collectibles (cheap and cheerful). Not everything is necessarily an antique or even vintage, and at a Sunday tianguis a few years back, I came upon a vendor selling adorable, vintage-looking-but-newly-carved wooden Pinocchio marionettes. Knowing it was a "now or never" moment, I bought every marionette he had and happily hauled them back to Chicago.
Everyone who saw our little Pinocchio fell under his magical spell and before long, they were all gone. Each time I'm at the tianguis, I look for the marionette vendor, but have never found him again...or his charming wooden puppet who wanted to become a real boy by proving himself to be "brave, truthful and unselfish."
"Now, remember, Pinocchio, be a good boy. And always let your conscience be your guide."