Ah, Wicker Park! The ever-edgy of home to iconic shops like Reckless Records and Myopic Books, infamous rock clubs, and some exciting newcomers. Take us, for example. That’s right, we’ve set up shop right here in the neighborhood! If you live in Chicago or simply have plans to visit, be sure to stop by our store at 1463 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Above: Each of our Topdrawer shops features a customized, one-of-a-kind illustration by Boston-based artist, Paige Mulhern.
Wicker Park’s eclectic roots date back to the late 19th century, when Charles and Joel Wicker purchased 80 acres of land along Milwaukee Avenue, and quickly watched it become a desirable neighborhood for families looking to rebuild their homes after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. German and Scandinavian immigrants also flocked heavily to the community during this time, so much that Hoyne Avenue coined the nickname, “Beer Baron Row” due to the large number of breweries holding residences on the street. These days, it’s an area boasting small-town appeal and rich urban vigor, a place where art lovers and working professionals mingle among some of the city’s most prominent architectural works. From West Le Moyne to North Wilmot, it’s a community that’s rich with creative spirit and local culture.
Spend just a few minutes inside the shop to discover a collection of creative tools curated from around the world with a focus on productivity, independence, and style. Think high-quality bags, eyewear, wallets, fine pens and notebooks, photo albums, and bento boxes. From goods for food lovers, travelers, and photographers alike, all of our products are presented on shelving, counters, and other fixtures made of wood reclaimed from vintage Illinois railcars. It’s our way of paying homage to the drifters and vagabonds of times’ past who took to the rails to find their way home, stumble across adventure, or simply see the world. It’s also our way of mirroring the conservation we strive for in everything we do. From building our shops to developing our products, we aim to balance consumer needs for quality, functionality, and aesthetics with environmental sensitivity and compatibility.
Above: Wicker Park’s collection of archival-grade Kolo Photo Albums. From Newport to Noci, Hudson to Newbury, our albums make preserving your cherished photographs easy.
Below: Got bento boxes? We offer all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes from brands like Takenaka and Monbento. Catch them alongside sustainable stainless steel water bottles from 24 Bottle, the perfect tool for daily hydration on the go.
Then there’s our ever-talented and knowledgeable staff. Illinois native Shawna Gaetto moved to the city in 2008 to attend Columbia College Chicago, graduating in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration. As Wicker Park’s Business Development Manager, she lives with her husband in the Lincoln Square area, and spends her free time crafting and building things with power tools. “My preferred form of art went from 2D to 3D,” she says. “Topdrawer is drawing me back into my sketchbook!”
That same creativity runs clear through Anthony Medrano, Topdrawer’s Assistant Manager who grew up just outside of the city and has called Chicago home for the last five years. He uses his free time to write, draw, cook, paint, and tattoo. “I enjoy creating more than anything,” he says. “Whether it’s making a recipe from scratch or painting on canvas, there’s is nothing as beautiful as taking an idea in your head and bringing it to life.”
Anthony Medrano and Shawna Gaetto
Like all of us at Topdrawer, these two are quick to call their place within the company a solid fit. “Almost everyone who walks through the doors wants to chat and get to know us,” says Shawna. “I have heard amazing travel stories, met artists, and connected with some really awesome people.” For Anthony, working at the shop is like a breath of fresh air. “Everyone I’ve met has made me feel like I'm joining a family rather than a company,” he says. “Every day I’m surrounded by incredible people and products that I can really appreciate.
Visit our store at 1463 N. Milwaukee Ave. to say hello to our friendly and knowledgeable staff, and shop our collection of quality tools for creative work and living.