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.
Julia Rahn, founder of Flourish Studios, 3020 N. Lincoln Ave, sat down with me to discuss the potential for growing business in West Lakeview and to answer five questions.
1. How long have you lived/worked in the area?
I’ve been a clinical psychologist in the area for over 14 years. I worked at 3139 North Lincoln Avenue, and I was thinking of adding one therapist to my practice because the phone was starting to ring more than I could handle on my own. I had more than enough space to add another therapist, so I was in an expanding mode. One day in November 2006, I was walking to the bank and passed 3020 North Lincoln. I looked around, and all these ideas I had put to the back of my head for the last 20 years, while being a clinical psychologist, came coming out saying you could do all that here. I turned around, looked at the window and there was a For Sale sign. I said a prayer, and decided that if doors were to open relatively easy I would start this thing. I didn’t have a name for it yet, but it became Flourish Studios. Since then I have added 7 therapists. The Studio for Change is my private practice within Flourish Studios. It is for children, adolescents and adults. We bought it in February 2007 and opened the doors December 8th, 2007.
2. What’s your favorite place in the area?
My heart is in Lakeview. Except for two years when I wanted to live by the lake and had to go all the way to Rogers Park, I have always lived in Lakeview, so really my favorite place is all of Lakeview, but I’m a big fan of Thousand Waves Martial Arts. They are an awesome group. I’m enjoying going to Bakin’ and Eggs. We were so glad to have them come to the neighborhood, to have another store say they’re willing to come to Lincoln, and I’m excited about the new Jewel. The thing I most like is the people. Lakeview people care about the world, they care about their families, and they care about their neighborhood.
3. What kind of business would you like to welcome into the neighborhood?
Right across the street we need a convenience store. It’s not exciting, but we need it because there is no place to go for a snack. My dream would be that this little stretch of Lincoln from about Diversey to Belmont would have an art focus, that there would be more art galleries or even some clothing boutiques. This is a good street, but it could use a little bit more investment.
4. What has changed since you’ve lived here?
I think the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce has always been a good chamber; certainly in the last three years I’ve seen Heather Way really make the chamber something that helps people. We have signs on the corner listing what is on the street and they hold events to figure out what is going on in Lakeview.
If there was something you could change about this neighborhood, what would it be?
More stores and more parking. Also, the city should go back to owning the meters. Parking was better before.
5. What would you like to say to all of the people in your neighborhood?
Flourish Studios does have something for everyone. We’re not just for children; we’re not just for women. Anyone wanting to get some inspiration, learn something new, figure out something that’s not working in their lives, I believe we have the resources for that.