Meet Super Hero Kim Shimkus!

Kim owns Manouche in Oak Park which is a one-woman show.

What does your business do?

Manouche offers a beautiful collection of carefully edited wearables that honor the creation and production process from conception to closet.

What is “super” about your business?  Why is it special?

Our transparency and our consumer education make us special.  Manouche brings an aesthetic that reflects a shift of consciousness toward a kinder manufacturing model.  There’s purpose and intent in our selection process.  We view clothing as more than a commodity. I feel good about the things I sell and our clients feel good about the things they buy.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a beekeeper!  Tending to my bees is a calming activity for me.  I put on my suit, light up the smoker and enjoy the solitude.  I’m also studying how to create and use natural dyes.  I attended a hands-on workshop in North Carolina recently that taught these skills.  This experience has grown my appreciation for the clothing design and manufacturing process.  These activities make space for awareness of how much effort goes into creation.

If you could pick a superpower, what would it be?

To be able to speak any language but my real-life super power is helping women feel comfortable in their clothes!

Why did you choose to invest in our community?

It’s important for me to live and invest in the same community.

What local organizations have you been able to support in the past?

There have been many over the years:  Housing Forward, Hephzibah and Sarah’s Inn are the first that come to mind.

What’s the weirdest thing you sell or offer? Or have there been any odd customer requests?

I’m not sure if I would describe these as weird.  Maybe unique would be a better word?  I think our level of customer service is unique.  I think it’s amazing how often people text me about advice on what to wear for an occasion.  If they have somewhere to go but don’t know what to wear, it’s not unusual for me to get a text.  Many people don’t realize we offer installment plans, private shopping appointments, and local delivery too. I’ve been known to drop off packages on my way home from work!

Name three of your favorite local businesses (besides yourself, of course!)

My go-to for coffee and buttermilk biscuits is Spilt Milk.  When I want to treat myself I go to Gem Jewelry.  I love Cucina Paradiso for comfort food.

Visit Kim Shimkus at Manouche

103 N. Oak Park Ave. in Oak Park

Small Business Super Heroes is a partnership between the Oak Park – River Forest Chamber of Commerce and Wednesday Journal’s

This Super Hero profile was created on December 4, 2017

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