Vintage thrift storeowner prepares to celebrate first year in Hyde Park

Gilda Designer Thrift Boutique, 1703 E. 55th St. – Spencer Bibbs

Staff Writer

Before opening her doors in the Hyde Park area in November 2016, Gilda Norris, owner of Gilda Designer Thrift Boutique, 1703 E. 55th St., had already made a name for herself in the fashion and retail industry in New York and Washington, D.C.

Norris’s thrift store specializes in women’s and men’s clothing, accessories and home décor.

Norris, a New York native, said although she comes from a family of fashion designers, pattern makers, shoemakers, and upholsterers, it wasn’t until her early college years in Washington, D.C. that she first discovered her love for fashion.

“I’ve been in the retail industry ever since my freshman year at
Howard University,” Norris said.

She said during her time in Washington D.C. it was very expensive to own a brick and mortar store so after living on Capitol Hill for several years, she decided to set up her own outdoor boutique in front of her house.

“I did it every summer, on weekends, and built up quite the
clientele,” Norris said.

With a niche in vintage retail design, Norris said her boutique offers wardrobe styling, personal shopping and designer clothes for affordable prices.

Norris said purchasing her first ever brick and mortar store in Chicago was the manifestation of a lifelong dream.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a brick and mortar and Chicago has allowed me to do so,” Norris said. 

Norris, who collaborated with The Silver Room Owner Eric Williams in July to host a vintage Hyde Park Flea Market, said she is looking forward to celebrating her store’s one-year anniversary.