MADE is a paid partnership with Little Lake County.
Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Juliet Abeille. Juliet is the owner of Loverly Cottage in Lake Bluff.
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with Juliet in her working boutique just off of Skokie Road in Lake Bluff. As the owner of Loverly Cottage, a cozy shop brimming with French cottage inspired furniture, home goods and gifts, Juliet has created an oasis showcasing her discerning creative eye and talents. Inside this unassuming white brick building, colorful transformational magic takes place. And Juliet clearly embodies a special passion and determination in her quest to create beautiful things, repurpose furniture and foster meaningful connections between the past and the present day.
The ability to transform and center herself has served Juliet well in life. At a young age, growing up on Chicago’s North Shore, she turned her creative eye to the arts with the help of her grandmother who taught her how to needlepoint and design and sew doll clothes at a young age.
It didn’t take long for Juliet’s entrepreneurial spirit to blossom. As a teenager, she recycled vintage fur coats into heirloom teddy bears and began taking on custom orders. Eventually she took her handcrafted wares to weekend markets and expanded her business to include furniture and other vintage items. Her work spanned the Midwest to as far as Hollywood, California. Juliet managed to save enough money from her business to put herself through college, and earned a B.S. in computer science.
Juliet opened her first brick and mortar storefront shop in 2014, L’Abeille Vintage in Lake Bluff. However, just a few short months after she opened her shop, she lost all of her personal belongings, including a beloved pet, in a house fire. This life-altering event didn’t stop Juliet, a single mom, from creating or pursuing her passion. Instead, she turned to her creative outlet while she sorted through the rubble and channeled her inner resilience with patience, kindness and tolerance amidst the drama. Painting became therapeutic to her during this difficult time.
You have to learn to find your bearings in the middle of chaos. We’re all going to go through something. You will get to the other side. And you learn the importance of some things and how some physical things are not so important.
The other side for Juliet is Loverly Cottage, which may be her grandest transformative undertaking yet. After eyeing a vacant building for over a year that formerly housed a bar and restaurants, she set her sights on turning the property into her dream space of a unique boutique, workshop and gathering place.
Simply put, she had an idea. Once that idea came to fruition, in 40 days time with the help of friends, a handyman plus sheer determination and brute force, she accomplished her goal, and opened the doors in late 2016. And Juliet did it all while working a full-time job and tending to the L’Abeille Vintage shop. But once you enter the building, it is hard to imagine it as anything but the beautiful boutique and workshop that stands today. In addition, the property has a lovely expansive patio, deck and garden area, with plenty of room to host workshops and special events.
We removed three layers of carpet and old tile from the floors here. With that went the old, stale smells of this building’s past lives. Now this building has a completely new life and is a welcoming space.
Juliet credits her entrepreneurial successes to listening to her inner voice, and finding (and maintaining) her own center, despite the challenges she has faced. With over twenty years of experience painting furniture, she has learned to rely on her instincts. When she sees a piece of furniture, she naturally asks herself “How can this be beautiful?” or “What can I make out of that?” Or she might take a moment and think, “Oh, that could become… .” It is readily apparent, that for Juliet, good ideas are endless as she gives old, and potentially discardable furniture new life using durable and eco-friendly paints. Juliet also makes it a point to support other women in business and actively participates in local networking groups and events that encourage dialog and foster collaboration.
Success is infinite. Kindness is infinite. Let’s lift each other up rather than tear one another apart.
Be sure to visit Loverly Cottage to see Juliet’s working boutique in action, and experience firsthand her curated collection of hand painted and repurposed furniture, French cottage and farmhouse home goods, vintage-inspired accessories and gifts.
Disclosure: Loverly Cottage is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series please contact the sales team.