Sean Krista’s Shop Around Chicago project

How often do you go to a city with goals and missions to come back with unique, local pieces of clothing or fashion accessories but end up with almost nothing (that you feel completely satisfied with)? For me, it’s often. Get to know the founder of Shop around Chicago, Sean Krista, who promises that you won’t go back to your hometown empty handed.. We chat with Sean about Chicago, fashion and fun in this city.

HA: Sean, tell us something about yourself that people wouldn’t normally know?

SK: Ok here are a few things about me that not many people know.. I am apparently a lover of buttons. One day I looked around and they were every where, so I started putting them on everything. I’m a Libra, but I really don’t know exactly what that entails. I try to stay balanced, but my vice is candy! I can be addicted to anything that givevs you that ‘great day feeling’, you know what I mean?  Lastly, I really don’t like getting photographed! I’m not great at posing, haha. I’m better in person is what I always say.

sean krista

Interests & Ambitions

My ambitions are vast and my interest is many. I’m a dreamer, so it’s hard for me to not dream and want to create.  I like getting lost in Chicago because I always end up in the right place. I like discovering new boutiques and new places to eat. Local coffee houses are the best and in Chicago, you are never short of a really good trendy, hip coffee shop. They’re always owned by really cool people. & those are the best people to meet in the morning. The best way is to emerge yourself in the City and sometime getting lost is the best.

HA: How did you come up with the concept of Shop Around Chicago? 

SK: Shop Around Chicago came like an Oprah “Ahha!” moment. I realized I could combine everything that I like to do, places I enjoy visiting and share it with others who have similar taste and interest.

HA: And its such a great ‘Aha’ concept! How do you think SAC is serving the community? 

SK: We like to pass on the good news, simply. Restaurants to go to and of course places to shop. We love the face to face connection, the “in-person” recommendations.  SAC just held a forum event at the Silver Room in Wicker Park, talking about style, fashion and trends. It was great and the response was fantastic. I think people enjoyed the fact that we brought fashion lovers together and had an evening speaking about common interests while informing people with what’s new, what’s on trend, etc.

HA: Chicago is such an amazing shopping hub, how does Shop Around put the best of the city in the forefront?

SK:  I like the fact that you used the word Hub. Hubs are always nice and plentiful and that’s what Chicago is about… There are, however, several shopping hubs in the city even though people that come here are usually limited to Michigan avenue shopping. We curate the best of this city’s finding and make a conscious effort to list the newest boutiques on our portfolio.. with something for everyone’s taste. Who wouldn’t want the most unique shoes, the most delicious meal or the most beautiful of walks in Chicago, devoid of busy tourist traps?

sean krista

HA: What criteria does a shop need to have to be included in your tour?

SK: There’s no criteria as such. At Shop Around Chicago, we tailor make a tour based on a fashion hot spot or a fashion hub; shops come together in bunches so the walk is easy and doable. Most stores are usually next to each other or within walking distance (neighbourhood). The tour is not only limited to shopping.. there a ton of great places to eat, sceneries to stop by and enjoy, so the boutiques are simply beyond the tour. The locations we chose for our visitors varies, for example, we can show you around spots where you can get a bang for your buck or you can splurge on the extravagant, well curated stores.

Fashion Inspiration

I can’t really say what my style is… I am always evolving with my personal style and you’ll never find me wearing the same style everyday. I do enjoy loud, daring and attention grabbing pieces either made by local designers or international ones. I buy what I fall in love with love with, generally and these purchases seem to play well with other items I own. I do, however, gravitate towards the weird and unconventional…the slightly over the top findings. They pair well and have a dramatic effect with more basic pieces.

HA: What is one trend you are loving this season?

SK: I’m in love with things that have audacity. For what’s on trend now.. I like Alexander Wang’s “Parental Advisory” sweatshirt. The shape is just great. You can wear it always and it’d still be great! I like that in a piece of clothing. I can’t get enough of it. It’s the new “white tee” shirt!

HA: What do you see Shop Around Chicago becoming in the near future

SK: I’d like a fleet of pink vehicles one day carrying my brand and taking avid fashion visitors on a Shop Around Chicago tour!

My Chicago 
Chicago’s home so of courses I love this city. Chicago is known for it’s warmth, it’s a friendly terrain and beautifully landscaped. There’s so much culture here with so many things to do and see if you allow yourself to explore.

-For lunch sometimes I like to go to Cafecito on Clinton for a good Cuban sandwich and cup of coffee.

-Places and things to see, go and do are so vast, has a few good recommendations 😉 I do, however, recommend staying in a bed and breakfast. You will be spoilt for choice on airbnb… I’ve always loved how personal and unique each space is, more than the chicest of hotels.

Quotes I live by

I don’t have a particular one but I do save all of my fortune cookie notes in an Altoids can 🙂

HA: What is one piece of advice you’d give to anyone starting out to pursue their dreams?

SK: The best advise I can give applies to anyone in pursuit of fulfilling their dreams… Never second guess and ask the questions you need to navigate yourself towards your goals. It’s like trying on that odd piece of clothing on the clothing rack.  You never know, that item could possibly make you look stunning.. so don’t second guess, always give your ‘what ifs’ a chance. If you gravitate towards it, then its naturally meant for you.


Photos by
Nancy Abdul Rahman

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