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November 14, 2003

Get a Life...with Erica Cerulo

Lynn was my first love. Now, I really, really want Diana, and think that Katie is utterly adorable. Plus, I could definitely use Liz some nights. Sigh. Hmm…a lil' too reminiscent of that damn "Mambo No. 5" song that was burned into our brains like five years ago? Yeah, it is a lil'. 1154 Lill, that is.

Ooooh! Good one. Super cheesy. No, I'm not talking about girls (my roommates Lynn and Diana are both relieved). I'm talking about purses. Every boy just turned the page. Big mistake. Huge. This could have been his savior. This could have been the easiest—yet still personal—present that he ever bought his sister/girlfriend/best friend/me.

What is this shop I speak of? Why am I so enthusiastic about these bags that aren't even plastered with that sickening—oh, I mean really cool—Louis Vuitton rainbow logo pattern? 1154 Lill Studio is a small, cutesy store on Halsted that allows the shopper to design her own purse. Design as in create something unique. Design as in you pick out the type of bag that you want and then pick out the fabrics for the outside, lining, accents, pockets, etc. Yes, you can in fact find a purse to match that quirky personality of yours. They have tons of fabrics to choose from, and the staff is very helpful. They don't get the least bit irritated if you spend half an hour contemplating between the black-and-white checked lining and the black-and-white gingham one. Also, all of the purses have a set price regardless of your picks. No added fees, no handling charges. Prices range from $52 for the Liz wristlet to $150 for the Diana messenger bag. Not bad for a unique bag emblazoned with your personality.

"Production" generally takes about three to four weeks, so if you want this as a holiday gift, get on it. Orders placed at 1154 Lill by November 16 will be ready for pick-up or shipping on December 13, and those placed by November 23 will be ready on December 20. How cool would your best friend at home, Katie, think you were if you designed a Katie handbag just for her? So cool. So very cool. Best friend ever!

For Mr. I-suck-at-shopping-and-bought-my-girlfriend-the-first-sweater-I-saw-at-the-Gap-last-year, you could satisfy your honey this holiday season (in at least one department), and all this without leaving your PC! Now I know that I am constantly trying to convince you to get out more, but I understand the guy who isn't stoked about going to girly stores in an attempt to appease the GF. In the end, you, the poor boyfriend with neither style nor a subscription to Vogue to help you on your mission, just wander around until the salesgirl spoon-feeds you the perfect (a.k.a most generic) present ever. Save yourself some time. Go do something fun instead and buy a gift certificate to 1154 Lill directly off their website. The women in your life will be genuinely grateful.

Darling, take advantage of 1154 Lill. Do you need to find a handbag to match that perfect little black and red floral tube dress with white trim and rhinestones? No problemo—it's clutch. Haven't started Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa shopping this year? No worries—it's in the bag.

Where do you go…my lovely

Where do you go

I wanna know…my lovely…I wanna know

E-mail elcerulo@uchicago.edu.