SAVE LOCAL BUSINESSES: Portraits of Chicago Businesses in Lockdown

Save Local Businesses


I started Save Local Businesses: Wicker Park because our doors are closed, but you can still help us.⁠ ⁠ With the help of the West Town Chamber of Commerce and the Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce, my goal for this project is to photograph (from a distance) local business owners, share their stories and provide the face behind their closed doors and dark windows.⁠ ⁠ We are doing this to showcase the effect the pandemic has on local businesses. This allows you to share with others what can be done to support/save small business.⁠

Want to support this project?  I appreciate your donation!  Like the businesses I photograph, I have a storefront studio under lockdown.  Your donation will allow me to continue this project and pay my staff and expenses.  Don’t have a business in West Town or Wicker Park?  Nominate your neighborhood!  

Diandra Lammens

Matty and Lou 1730 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

“We’ve been unfortunately forced to close our storefront. I moved here in March 2019, hit my 1-year anniversary and the coronavirus took over that day.

What’s frightening to me at this time is the unknown and uncertainty of when we can reopen. I’ve been in Wicker Park for a year and I love the neighborhood. I love all of the people I’ve become friends with. But I’m frightened of the uncertainty and the when? When do we get to reopen? The dates getting pushed back gets scary. I pray that my doors open so I can get in there and sell inventory. Foot traffic is a huge part of my business. Having a storefront that’s not being utilized is quite expensive.

I love that I’ve formed a neighborly bond in my store. It’s been fun to develop these relationships through a clothing store, it’s a fun experience. I love when customers send me pictures of themselves in their new clothes from my shop. Their package brightens their day, and them sending me pictures of their new clothes brightens mine.

In the time we are in right now, you have to find the positive or the silver linings or else we’re going to go crazy. Matty and Lou also keeps me happy. The names themselves are my grandparent’s names. People always assume I’m Matty and my husband is Lou. I find myself talking about my grandparents on a daily basis which I love. I’m a family driven person, so it makes sense my business has become invested in relationships.”

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    SAVE LOCAL BUSINESSES: Portraits of Chicago Businesses in Lockdown

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