When it comes to the creative community in Chicago, Creative Spirit Alexis Nido-Russo is, in many ways, keeper of the keys. As the community partnerships manager of the Chicago Artists Coalition, Alexis acts as the middleman between Chicago artists and businesses. She has worked with local brands, including Chicago Reader and Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and national brands such as Hennessey and Benefit Cosmetics. Taking her creative prowess to the next level, Alexis also founded Local Eclectic, an e-commerce site that showcases and sells stunning, unique items from independent designers from across the country.
In honor of Chicago’s upcoming Gold Coast Art Fair (June 21st – 22nd), Alexis schooled us on the art of exploring the Second City.
Thompson Chicago: You’re planning your ideal day in Chicago. Where do you go?
TC: How do you take advantage of Chicago’s short-lived summer weather?
ANR: Ride my bike, sit outside, dine outside, and drive up to Evanston for a peaceful afternoon at the lake. Pretty much anything outside!
TC: You have a great sense of style. Where is the best place to debut a new outfit?
TC: Your website, Local Eclectic, features up-and-coming designers from across the country. Who is a Chicago-based designer we should check out?
ANR: Cities in Dust, Shelby Steiner, Laura Lombardi, Silk Shaman, and Eye of the Sun are just a few.
TC: When you’re not shopping the designers on Local Eclectic, where do you like to shop?
ANR: Eskell in Wicker Park. They have their own line and sell almost exclusively through their store.
TC: We asked Alexis what tourists cannot leave Chicago without doing. Her response? “Eating some incredible food. Don’t skimp on the dining experience.” Naturally, we had to ask for some of her recommendations:
- Avec: The deluxe focaccia is one of the best things I have ever eaten.
- Piccolo Sogno: The best outdoor dining in Chicago – I love the patio.
- Lovely: They have the most amazing pastries!
- Antique Taco: My greatest Chicago memory is the day I discovered the horchata milkshake. Changed my life!