Our History: The Whole Scoop...

Like many happy things, Clever Girl is a result of serendipity.  Three separate stores have been blended into one, and here we are... For the full story, you need to understand that selling runs through our veins:from the heather moors of Scotland all the way to the wonderful USA, our roots are in retail.  Take a quick trip with us, and we'll explain how it all came to be.
   Inverness, Scotland-- 1890.  That's the year John and Annie Noble packed up everything they owned and set sail for the United States.  They settled in Oak Park, Illinois, and opened a dry-goods store that was known in the community for their outstanding customer service and quality merchandise.  (Clarence Hemingway, father of Ernest, was a friend, neighbor, and frequent shopper.) 
   Now on to Hinsdale, Illinois, in the early 1970's.  It is here you will find John and Annie's granddaughter, Virginia, "Jinny" running her charming antique shop known as The Country Cousin,  brimming with English pine tables, antique Windsor chairs, wall cupboards, and vintage lighting.  Customers loved her mixture of vintage furnishings along with the best of American crafted merchandise; and the store soon outgrew its space.  
    Up on the main street, she expanded into a darling vintage building that had once been the local blacksmith shop.  She started on one floor, and then expanded to the second.  More antiques filled the space, along with carefully selected handmade goods from across the USA, and the store was re-named, Abigail Rose.  In the mid-80's a second Abigail Rose location was opened in the resort town of Saugatuck, Michigan.  It offered a wonderful selection of items for the second home,as well as clothing and jewelry.  
    Fast forward to the 90's. Abigail's charming, sophisticated "sister store", Finnie McClure was opened just down the street in Hinsdale, and Jinny's daughter, Katie (that's me), officially joined the business. My earliest memories are of following my mother around antique stores and flea markets, and my dad expertly loading trailers full of vintage goodies.  I became familiar with color swatches and the odor of paint very early on. Finnie McClure offered jewelry, accessories and decorative objects, all displayed in antique cases under twinkling chandeliers.  A few more years flew by, and yet another store, French Toast arrived on the scene.  This store was styled after a Provincial boutique, and offered stylish clothing, and all sorts of French decor.  Each shop had it's own niche and offered only the finest and best merchandise to be found.  
    In 2008, an amazing new space became available in the neighboring town of Western Springs, that would let all three stores come together under one roof, and Clever Girl was born. Thirty-nine years into it's retail evolution, Clever Girl remains a destination for women wanting a curated mix of clothing, jewelry, accessories, gifts and home décor that reflects their ideal of individuality and uniqueness.