RESIDENTS SHARE ABOUT THEIR PASSION PROJECTS
West Suburban Chicago is home to many creatively stylish residents– from boutique owners and entrepreneurs to beauty and clothing stylists. Each story is just as inspiring as the next.
Nanette Elliot of Sugar Grove
Nanette loves elegance with simplicity and believes one pair of black pants can give you seven great outfits. “Basics are timeless - and your shoes, jewelry, purse, and a cool jacket will make your outfit,” she says. “You can plan on seeing a lot of teal, rust, reds, purples, and lime greens this fall season”. Beyond simplistic fashion elegance, Nanette loves to decorate, loves music, dancing, Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Village Bible in Sugar Grove, and reading the Bible, but, most of all; she loves her children, foster children, and grandchildren. Her store, Nanette’s Giving Boutique in Sugar Grove was born out of that unconditional love for others and her community. “I grew up watching my parents help others. I was fascinated watching my father bring baskets of food to families, giving rides to college kids with disabilities, and helping people out at his optometry office that couldn’t afford new glasses or exams,” she shares. “I knew with my boutique I could also make a difference.” Nanette opened her store in 2010. The economy was horrible but she knew God would provide, and He did. Eight years later, the boutique is thriving and 10% of the profits from each sale is donated to charity and assists local families and children in need. She sells everything from casual to elegant, high end jewelry, baby items, candles, perfumes, purses, belts, puzzles, mugs, and more. Nanette appreciates and enjoys every customer and is grateful for the gift of giving back through her fashion passion.
Gina Greenwood of Geneva
According to Gina, the hottest fall trend is the undone look - lived in haircuts and color, super deep, yet subtle rooted color. Mid length hair with a messy undone look – “It’s funny though you have to spend some time making it look like you didn’t spend any time at all.”
She always knew she wanted to be a hairstylist. Gina loved cutting her Barbie’s hair and would cut her middle and high school friends’ hair. She was a young teen mom and her Dad pushed her in the direction of the cosmetology field because it was something she was passionate about. She went to Hair Professionals in Oswego and upon graduation to a training program at Focas Salon in Saint Charles. She then made the leap of faith to open her own salon, Lola by Gina in Geneva six years ago.
Her favorite quote - “When the fear doesn’t leave you will just have to do it scared” and going off on her own was one of the most terrifying, yet satisfying things things she has ever done.
Gina believes style comes from confidence. “If you get dressed in the morning and look in the mirror, you need to know you look incredible,” she says. “You have to be intentional about your hair, your makeup, and your clothes.”
Her main objective is to empower people. When people feel empowered they empower others and it trickles. That is how she is changing the world one head at a time.
Whitney Larson of St. Charles
Whitney has always loved fashion and clothing, but didn't know much about the technical side until she became a stylist with Cabi. She had never dreamed about being a business owner, but found the perfect balance of being home for her children and having the flexibility of her own work hours as an independent stylist.
“This fall we're seeing a sense of 'warm and cozy' all over the runway,” Whitney says. “We are loving the folk luxe trend, and there is a huge 'winter green' trend this fall too. Plaids, pastels, and florals are all going to be big this season; plus accessories such as faux fur details, vintage handbags, hats, and shoes with a twist...like block heels or ankle strap details.”
Whitney believes that a successful fashion stylist becomes efficacious when she truly cares for the women she serves and forms friendships creating relationships.
“I attribute my success to hard work, having a long term vision, organization, planning ahead, mentors, lots of help from my hubby, and coffee,” she says.
Besides her Cabi career, most of Whitney’s time is spent with her four young kids – hence the necessity for the flexible schedule! She loves working out at Orange Theory in Geneva, reading books of all genres, decorating, traveling, and somehow finds time be a staff member at her church, The Well in Geneva, as well. Whitney is a third generation St. Charles girl, and has overall pride for her community.