Sanem D’Angelo owns a trendy boutique in downtown Oak Park. “I’m not here to change women. I’m here to help them feel and look their best,” she said Monday during an interview.
D’Angelo named her store after herself, Sanem. “Sanem means beautiful in Turkish,” she said. She talks about how her clothes portray beauty also. “All the clothes in my shop are timeless trends,” she said.
D’Angelo was born in Virginia but moved to Illinois when she was 4 and has lived here most of her life. She graduated from Benedictine University with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and worked on a sports radio station in Chicago.
When she left that job she worked at The Coach store for five years. She said that’s what brought her back into the fashion industry. She moved in with her boyfriend, now husband, in Oak Park and started working in a boutique and decided it was time for her to start her own wardrobe consulting business.
She opened her store in August 2010, but tested the waters for a couple of months. “I called myself a pop-up store,” she said. A pop-up store in the heart of Oak Park.
There are four other boutiques on the same block as D’Angelo, but she said she’s a team player. “We all offer something different, from the servie to the apparel. It keeps you researching,” she said.
D’Angelo said she stays on top of her business. She makes an effort to know all her customers on a first-name basis. In peak season she gets new items every week to keep her clients up to date and interested.
“Something that might set me apart from other stores is my service,” she said.
To help set herself apart from other stores, her boutique offers styles from venders in Las Angeles and New York. “I give women in Chicago different ideas,” she said.
She said she just picked up a new designer who uses denim — Henry and Belle. They were on the Today Show featuring their signature jean. “I try to find clothing designers who produce in the U.S.,” she said.
Although she is surrounded by other boutiques, she said her clientElE builds everyday. “It’s so funny. I had about five women come into the store, and they all wanted my advice. One of them said I should create a fan club because everyone wants my tips!” she said.
“My clientele is very broad,” she said. She said there is a womAn in her early 70s and she dresses in a unique and fun style. D’Angelo said this womAn is a perfect example of someone who knows how to add personality to her wardrobe.
She said she has always loved fashion. “Growing up I remember how my grandma always dressed to the nines,” she said. She said how she would always wear her grandma’s jewelry and oversized sun glasses. “I was driven by clothing,” she said. D’Angelo has an eye for detail that started at a young age. “Even when my grandma cooked dinner she dressed great!” she said. She said she remembers the clanking of her grandmothers gold bracelets when she would cut vegetables.