Where? Chicago's Jade is on North Milwaukee Avenue, a trendy and eclectic district packed with boutiques, restaurants and bars.
Who? The boutique is owned by Laura Merlo, a former fashion stylist and writer for the Chicago Tribune. Having made a number of contacts in the industry, in February 2005, she decided to open her own boutique, which fast became a favoured haunt of local fashionistas.
Fashion finds: Merlo specialises in hard-to-find labels, mixing creations from emerging designers with those from established international names. The look is a little bit hippy: what Merlo describes as 'earthy bohemian'. With over 50 womenswear labels to sift through, look for slim-fitting blazers from British designer Madeleine Press, beaded tunics by Pia Hallstrom, sexy dresses from T-Bags and Issa, and jewellery from Angie Gooderham and The Brunch.
The vibe: tropical-hued floral blouses on the racks complement the store's dark wood furnishings and jungle-green walls. Jewellery items are laid out on Asian-inspired glass tables and chandeliers add to the elegant vibe.
The crowd: Jade caters to Chicagoan women seeking to broaden their fashion horizons and those with a taste for off-the-beaten-track boutiques. Celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, John Mayer, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robin Tunney have been spotted shopping here.
Extras: Merlo is always on hand to give advice on picking accessories to match your outfit. 'With the right accessories, the same outfit can work for a wedding or a casual lunch,' she claims.
Jade is at 1557 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, United States, tel: 1 773 342 5233; www.jadechicago.com.