By Bob Bong
Sisters Wendy Lundberg and Jill Evans opened Mona Lisa Boutique in Palos Heights in October 1991 and patterned it after a Parisian boutique.
At first, the sisters presented women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry. The boutique quickly expanded to include home decor, furniture, gifts, Christmas decorations and a complete baby boutique.
It opened first at the corner of Harlem Avenue and College Drive and later moved to the 12300 block of Harlem Avenue.
In 2018, they were offered a smaller space at Orland Park Crossing shopping center and made the move.
“We went for a smaller space and a busier shopping area,” said Evans. “There wasn’t much walking traffic in Palos Heights. So, we were more of a destination store.”
That will all come to an end on March 30, when Evans and Lundberg will shut down the brick and mortar part of their business.
“We call it a retirement sale,” said Evans. “But we’re actually just changing our way of doing business. We are keeping our online store and expanding it.”
She said the online operation will be called monalisaandcompany.com.
“We will sell the things that are popular with our customers,” Evans said. “Our clothing line. Our fragrance line. A selection of baby clothes. But no furniture.”
The sisters, who have lived in Palos Heights since they were in grade school, said lots of people have been stopping in since they announced in a video on YouTube that the store at 14215 S. LaGrange Road would be closing.
“The first day of our retirement sale was a blast,” Evans said. “It was so fun. We saw a lot of people we hadn’t seen in a while. They stopped by to say hi and comment on items they had purchased over the years.”
Evans said new spring merchandise would continue to arrive until the store closed.
“We ordered so much last summer,” she said. “And since so much of our merchandise is made to order for us, we decided to keep it coming. It will hit the shelves as it comes in and start at 20 percent off.”
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Evans said she and Lundberg decided it was time to take a step back and relax.
“Running a store is hard. Me and Wendy are at the chiropractor every other day,” she said laughing.
For information, call the store at 708-645-4729 or visit them on Facebook at Mona Lisa Boutique.