Editor’s Note: We want to get to know our neighbors, so we picked five questions to ask each of them. Feel free to ask them your own questions in the comments. Or submit your own responses on our submissions page.
Emily Martin & Joshua Wentz are the owners of Orange Beautiful at 4658 North Damen Avenue. Orange Beautiful specializes in beautifully hand made custom books, stationery, cards, invitations as well as original graphic design services for homes & businesses alike. Emily & Joshua have been in business in the area for six years and at their current location at Damen and Leland for six months and to celebrate they’re having a champagne celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 11 from 6-10pm. RSVP and help them celebrate!
1. How long have you lived/worked in the neighborhood?
We’ve lived on Winchester just north of Lawrence for a little over five years. Orange Beautiful’s original studio was in Northcenter on Irving Park, and we’ve been at this location on Damen & Leland for six months, yeah, next week will be six months! I (Emily) opened Orange Beautiful in 2004. I worked for another company as a graphic designer and then I thought, I can do this myself! I think ultimately I always wanted to open the store. We’d been talking for about a year and a half about opening a store. And since we walked by this corner everyday, finally, the first day we noticed a for lease sign we called. I think they were taping the sign in the window and we called the number! And so we made the move and we get to stay in our own neighborhood, which is awesome!
2.What’s your favorite neighborhood place to relax?
Gio’s Bar & Grill, we go there a lot. It’s a nice end of the day thing when we have a rough day. Or actually, the opposite of that. If we have a great day and something great happens. Cause it’s right on our way home and that was true before we had the store, we’d go there cause it’s literally around the corner from our place. The bartenders are really nice and their menu is really good right now. In the last month they’ve updated their menu again and they’ve added a bunch of vegetarian items as well as a buffalo burger, the turkey burger is really good, salads.
3.What’s your favorite business in the neighborhood?
Over Easy, definitely. When we started dating we went to Over Easy at some point and when we were looking for apartments I called Joshua at work and told him the best part about the place is that Over Easy is right behind the apartment and Joshua was like, “that’s so great!” So when we finally moved in a month later Over Easy had just had their fire. It was literally the morning we moved in and we were still sleeping on an air mattress in our living room and our furniture was only half moved in. So we got up early in the morning on Saturday to unpack and we’re like “Let’s go to Over Easy and have breakfast!” We walked around the corner, walked up and the windows were boarded. We’re like, “Noooooooo, it’s gone, what’s happening?!?” We were so mortified, we were depressed and thought that they had gone out of business. And then we saw the sign about the fire and we’re like, “But we just moved here and we wanted to go to Over Easy to celebrate!” So every week after we would go by to see if it was open and as we saw progress and the place being redone we were like “YES!, it’s almost time!” And now we go there once every couple of weeks.
4. Who would you like to welcome into the neighborhood?
An ice cream shop! Every time a storefront is empty or it looks like it’s going to be fixed up we’re like “Ooh, is it going to be an ice cream shop!? We’re like, “please be an ice cream shop!” Like when Bagel on Damen moved in across the street I’m like that’s great but dammit I wish it was an ice cream shop!
5. What would you like to say to all of the people in your neighborhood?
Support local business and thank you for supporting our business over the last six months. It’s been so awesome to meet all of the people in the neighborhood just by having an open door. The people that come in, give you support and tell you that they like what you’re doing, that they’re glad you’re here and that your store looks really nice, it keeps you going. We knew we would have some neighborhood people as customers but we didn’t know that the huge majority of our customers would be people we see on a weekly basis. A lot of them we know their names, they know us and that’s the best thing about it.