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Meet Spertus Shop Buyer and Manager Jill Sevelow

Meet Spertus Shop Buyer and Manager Jill Sevelow

By Lori Finkel for Spertus Institute

With a career that spans education, publishing, and retail, Jill Sevelow has worn many hats. Now we’ve snagged her as the buyer and manager of the Spertus Shop. I coerced her with a cup of coffee in exchange for a glimpse into what she’s cooking up in her new position.

Lori Finkel: So what have you been up to before joining us at Spertus?

Jill Sevelow: I’ve had an eclectic career. I began as a preschool teacher and taught at the JCC in Flossmor. I also worked as the associate publisher of World Jewish Digest in Skokie. But my real passion has always been retail. My first job in retail was at Kline’s, an independent department store in Chicago Heights. I was the buyer for handbags and accessories. Later I went on to own my own upscale retail shop in Buffalo Grove called Encore Wear.

What do you enjoy about the Spertus Shop?

I love the ambiance and the look of the store. It’s such a beautiful space! I get so excited to bring in new items, especially when I find something new and different that no one else is carrying.

What are you looking forward to bringing into the shop?

I’m looking forward to carrying pieces from Jewish artists located around the country and in Israel. There’s incredible and interesting work out there. One of the artists I recently discovered is Rabbi Blacksmith. He’s a practicing rabbi in Indiana, and he makes rustic menorahs, mezuzot, and candlesticks.

What’s your process for finding new and different work for the Spertus Shop?

Well Rabbi Blacksmith — I found him in a JUF News article. It turned out he’s my neighbor in Munster, Indiana. His work has already been selling well and there’s clearly a big interest. Other items I find through research. There’re many nights when I’m propped up on the couch with my laptop, not willing to go to sleep because I’m on the trail of discovering something awesome. I love the thrill of the hunt. One new item we just got in is Lemon in a Bottle An entire lemon is grown right inside a bottle on the trees of the Ein Tzurim Kibbutz in Israel. It makes the Spertus Shop (and your home) smell delicious.

What’s something that you want to continue or implement?

I want the Spertus Shop to be a fresh mix of artsy, funky, elegant, and classic. It shouldn’t reflect one person’s taste, but offer something for everyone.

Spertus Shop hours
Sunday & Monday 10 am–5 pm
Wednesday 10 am–5 pm
Thursday 10 am–6 pm
Friday 10 am–3 pm
Closed Tuesday and Saturday


Monday, October 29, 2012