The Ultimate janegee Road Trip: Chicago, IL

Molasses Chicago, IL
Welcome to the first stop on our virtual road trip blog series. We’re so happy to have you on this journey with us! Throughout this series, we will be taking you across the US to cities that are home to our fabulous retail partners. Today, we’re taking you to Chicago, IL.

Chicago is home to one of our fabulous retail partners, MOLASSES. MOLASSES is a slow studio featuring sustainable wares and vintage curations. Here you can shop from a highly curated selection of goods for your home, wardrobe, and self-care with a focus on natural fibers, gender neutrality, and size inclusivity. We chatted with their founder, Shea, to talk about all things Chicago, starting her small business, and janegee products (of course!).

Meet MOLASSES - Chicago, IL

What inspired you to open MOLASSES?
"I have been inspired to open up my own slow fashion boutique since I was in high school. One of my first jobs was working at a nonprofit thrift store (Fair Tide in Kittery), where I would up-cycle damaged or dated vintage and bring new life and originality to old garments. This process, and working with found materials, has always inspired me to explore textiles that carry history and honor tradition. I have since worked in various retail and art education jobs (now 16 years), but have always built my resumé with the end goal in mind: to own my own boutique and harness my creative curiosities."

Why did you feel Chicago was the right place for your business?
"Chicago is a vintage gold mine. With so many influences from Marshall Fields to Frank Lloyd Wright, there is no shortage of design inspiration, and the treasure hunting is truly unmatched! While there is a vast vintage community here, I find that my New England roots help set me apart in terms of my natural aesthetic and sensibilities."

What are a few must-dos for anyone visiting Chicago for the first time?
"If you’re traveling to Chicago in the warmer months, the architecture tour on the river is a must! A beautiful way to see the city and learn the history of what makes the ‘Windy City.’ Lula Café is a must for brunch, lunch, or dinner - nestled in the heart of lively Logan Square, this delicious spot is a great jumping off point. Chicago is known for its world class comedy scene, so seeing a show at The Second City is a great activity (anytime of the year). The Garfield Park Conservatory is also a beautiful spot to breathe fresh greenhouse air and admire the skillfully crafted gardens (I got married here in 2022)! There’s truly so many great things to do in the city, but I recommend starting or ending your trip with a skyline view from the Montrose Bird Sanctuary on the lake."

How did you first discover janegee?
"I have been using janegee products for over a decade now! Growing up in Kittery, I was lucky to stumble upon janegee in Portsmouth many moons ago with my mom. She has always been my inspiration and my consultant for clean beauty, so I’ve been using her janegee recommended products for years. I started with the lip balm and the Bulgarian Rose Facial Oil, as I found them to be the most calming and effective skincare for my sensitive skin. I have a lot of allergies (citric acid, eucalyptus, cucumber, etc.) so finding the right skincare was crucial for building my confidence. I am so fortunate to carry these products I love here in Chicago!"

Which janegee products are most popular in your shop?
"Since I am such an advocate for the Bulgarian Rose Face Oil, that is certainly our best seller in the shop. Our customers are also loving the Bergamot Grapefruit Hand Cream and Body Oil. With their fresh scents, dreamy texture, and easy application, the customers are always returning for these."

Which janegee products are your personal favorites?
"I must say the Bulgarian Rose Face Oil and the Rose Geranium Bath Salts are my personal favorites - they add such a lovely dash of luxury to my daily routine. I’m new to the Farmer’s Market Reed Diffuser, but am also loving having this scent permeate in the shop - it is so fresh and lovely!"

Next time you are in Chicago be sure to stop by MOLASSES and tell them Jane sent you!

4919 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625