“The neighborhood is picking up now, and word of mouth about the store has spread. We’ve been in this location for about six years now, and have built a customer base over those years,” says Jessica Blythe, the store manager. “The space next to us had been open for about a year, so we decided to go for it.”
The store purchased that space next door, previously an eyeglasses retailer, knocked down the wall and moved in, nearly doubling their floor space. A more spacious, breathable shopping experience has now replaced the crowded racks and elbow-to-elbow shopping experience that the store used to offer.
Crossroads is the only resale shop along this stretch of Clark Street. With college students and young professionals continuing to populate the north Lincoln Park/south Lakeview area, the popularity of thrift shopping in the neighborhood has grown.
While Crossroads is currently the only resale shop in the area, it wasn’t always that way. Up until late summer 2011, a Buffalo Exchange also did business a mere three blocks north of Crossroads, on Broadway. They closed their doors in Lakeview to merge with their Wicker Park location, which has now doubled in size. While both retailers run very similar businesses and are both based out West (Crossroads in Berkeley, California and Buffalo Exchange in Tucson, Arizona), they are not affiliated and are natural competitors.
Despite some similarities to Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads aims to separate itself from other resale shops by curating its offerings with an editorial, on-trend eye.
“When we buy, we really look for things that are current. Our staff is into fashion and reads streetwear blogs and magazines. They really keep up with style trends and designer labels. You know you can come here and find something really great,” Blythe says. (Francesca Thompson)