Patricia altering a dress in her original workshop. Patricia’s business outgrew the store 1954 and was open for 30 years. See more photos of Patricia here.
The First Patricia Shoppe
It was in spending most of her time nipping, tucking, and advising her fellow female coworker’s outfits at her insurance agency job that Patricia McGrath Lind’s second career was launched. Born Margaret Lucille McGrath in 1905, her brothers gave her the new name of Patricia when they rented her a workshop in 1937 for her seamstress projects and teasingly named it Patricia Shoppe (after the Latin word Patrician, meaning “upper class”). She soon was so busy that she never had the time to take the sign down.
The first Patricia Shoppe was located at 11127 Vernon Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Patricia, known for the quality of her work, specialized in custom designs. It was said that she knew how to emphasize only the best of a woman’s shape. Patricia’s clients were as dynamic as Patricia herself as well as a product of the times they lived in: middle-class American housewives, the swelling ranks of “working girls” and businesswomen, and well-known socialites.
(R.) Patricia in front of store. (c.) Her original sketches. (L.) Patricia and her employees.
In addition to offering her customers the season’s latest styles, she also taught them about building a wardrobe with all the valued staples of the era, such as a basic black dress or a classic navy suit. She was successful through many hard times, and contributed her success to being able to update the old to new and creating styles made of quality materials. She kept all her client’s measurements on file, exemplifying the days of true customer service and “Main Street America.”
In the mid-1950s, Patricia Shoppe moved to the popular South Shore neighborhood, setting up shop at 2543 East 79th Street. She started to bring in ready-to-wear lines and focused on accessories, especially hats and jewelry. The store grew into a full-service women’s boutique and enjoyed 30 years of business until Patricia’s retirement in 1967.
Upon her retirement, Patricia moved to her Crystal Lake, Illinois cottage. She was an active member of her church as well as the Garden and Women’s Club. She continued to design and sew for her friends and family, until her death in 1996 after 91 remarkable years of life. Patricia was ahead of her time in many ways—at a time in American history where the role of a woman was so contrary to one’s dreams, Patricia was determined to have her own business, to raise her son on her own, and really enjoy life. And she did it—all of it—in style.
Patricia Shoppe Today
Erin Anschutz Bosman, Patricia’s great-granddaughter, grew up four hours north of Chicago on Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, where Patricia and her family had vacationed since the 1930s. Erin remembers visiting her great-grandmother in Chicago: “It was so glamorous—I loved getting dressed up and going into the city for tea and shopping. Grandmother had a certain grace about her—always in furs, heels, the best-made clothing, and always up-to-date with trends.”
Listening to stories of the shop and looking through vintage magazines sparked an early interest in fashion and vintage style for Erin. She was 19 when her great-grandmother passed away and considers one of the most influential people in her life (and one of the best-dressed women she’s ever known). After years of working in Door County galleries and shops, Erin knew that she would follow in Patricia’s footsteps and open her own boutique. Picking up where her great-grandmother left off in 1967, the focus of Erin’s shop was accessories, jewelry, handbags, and hats. Inspired by Patricia’s era and personal style, and colored by the lens of Erin’s own unique vision, Patricia Shoppe was reborn and opened May 4, 2001 in the waterfront village of Egg Harbor.
Repeating Patricia Shoppe history, Erin’s jewelry and accessories shop was a success and outgrew its small storefront. In 2005, Erin moved Patricia Shoppe to a larger location and gave visitors a truly unique shopping experience with charming gardens, a vintage atmosphere, a commitment to personalized service, and an even wider array of jewelry and accessories. The addition of apparel and shoes has brought Patricia Shoppe’s history full circle, and the Shoppe’s recent addition has created a larger, more comfortable space to offer her customers quality products that are both stylish and classic.