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Glancer Magazine

COVER STORY | Autumn Style Influencers to Know

by Kristen Kuckarski


From following the latest trends for their customers, to dressing for success themselves, these local area business owners are stylish in all that they do. Each runs a local area boutique that is well-loved, remaining busy and active during this difficult time for small businesses. With their own unique style, these hardworking west suburban women inspire and innovate. Here are their stories.


Denise (Neicey) Knickrehm

BARTLETT/GENEVA–Faith is the foundation of what is fashionable for Neicey. She grew up in the western suburbs and has been blessed to be surrounded by an amazing family which includes her three children and eight grandchildren. Even with the recent loss of her son, she is encouraged knowing he is in a better place. She expresses her emotions through her fashion wearing uplifting, fun, romantic clothes with a boho trendy and somewhat country flair, accessorized with beautiful crosses and hats with inspiring words reminding her to let Jesus Take the Wheel

Neicey loves all the hot Fall trends of neutrals mixed with animal prints, raggy bottoms, cowboy boots, swing skirts, romantic bohemian styles, and comfortable looks. She says hats are all the rage this season, especially suede and chenille with larger brims.

Her home and store boasts fashionable chic décor with devotional enriching messages for daily life and she feels blessed to experience both in and out of her boutique and loves most of all her Woman’s Group at the Family Life Christian Center in Carol Stream.

Everyday Neicey looks for what’s trending and the one consistent, trendiest fashion of the season is expression of kindness through words and actions.


Natalie and Allison Smith

GLEN ELLYN–Two single moms, four kids, a love for fashion, and one big dream.

Natalie and Allison are from a small rural town in Charleston, Illinois. They brought their big dream of opening a boutique to Glen Ellyn and carried along with it the vibrant downtown charm and pulsating ambience of the friendly tight-knit community they came from.

Natalie graduated with a degree in fashion merchandise and tapped into her hands-on experiences to catapult the dream shared with her sister, Allison for owning a business together.

The owners of Blonde Boutique are obsessed with the Fall popular trends of comfort including joggers, sweatshirts, anything cute and stylish with a relaxed fit; and the strong statement jeans are making this season with the cool memorable jackets.

Their simple, slightly edgy look is always classic and timeless that transitions easily from day into night. With four kids combined, Natalie and Allison love portable looks that can go from business to the soccer fields and then out to their favorite places such as A Toda Madre, Fire and Wine, Maize and Mash, and the new wine bar KOZE which will be opening soon in Glen Ellyn.

They love working out at Hardgainers, Rise, and FFC and shopping together at Good Roots and Enchantments.

Fashion takes a whole new meaning when planning your wedding and Natalie is excited to have purchased her dream vintage inspired classic ceremony dress and sleek, sexy fun reception dress at Veiled by ChaCha in Glen Ellyn and Belle Atelier in Chicago. She is blending saturated hues of cool and neutral blush tones for her mix and match bridal party which was perfectly staged for a crisp Fall wedding on October 9. Thankfully, both fashionable and flexible, the wedding is now April 2021 in Scotsdale, AZ!


Rajashree Basu

NAPERVILLE–According to Rajashree, owner of Krishna Fashion House in Naperville, fashion is what makes us comfortable and confident based on the occasion, place, and time of the day. She loves the creativity and freedom to play with fabric and colors which define individuals’ personalities and foresees handcrafts with beadwork and threads-work embroidery as a hot Fall fashion in greens, mint, burnt oranges and reds.

“Fall is my favorite season and I love everything about it...Pickup and polish your boots and dress it up with your ethnic wear to give a fusion look and make a statement,” Rajashree says. “Scarfs and belts are an easy and a quick way of accessorizing any simple dress into a fashionable one.”

Beyond fashion, COVID-19 has allowed Rajashree to cultivate her culinary skills as well and has infused many kinds of cultural cuisine for new Fall flavors. She also loves gardening and has her own organic vegetable and flower garden at home. In her down time, she loves watching amazing movies and web series with her family; after all, Krishna’s Fashion House has its own designer label called “Lil-Doll”, named after Rajshree’s mother Lily and mother-in-law Dolly, which is an impressive series of ethnically designed sarees and lehengas which has the best of Benarasi and Kanjeevaram silk fabric. Only the best, named after the best of family!

Drape and design are the hottest ethnic trends this season.