“I love bringing beauty to life,” says Giedre (Gia) Lapinska, founder of Gia Haute & Home, the seven-month-old shop in Hinsdale. “I believe that how we feel affects how we look, and being surrounded by a beautiful environment is important.”
This passion for beauty in every sense is what drove Lapinska to open her store earlier this year, after a 14-year career as an aesthetician. She had always been interested in design, art, and vintage items, so she decided to open a shop where she could pursue these interests.
Lapinska grew up in Lithuania, where she says her mother had a huge influence on her style.
“Her taste was amazing,” she says. “In art, fashion, everything. It didn’t have to be expensive, but she had a way of picking pieces that were interesting, beautiful, and high-quality.”
Lapinska moved from Lithuania to Chicago 18 years ago to “chase the American dream,” settling in with the city’s large Lithuanian community. Eventually, she moved to Hinsdale unincorporated, where, even before opening Gia Haute & Home, she found joy in finding high-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces for her
“I like pieces that have history and meaning, that are interesting and one-of-a-kind,” she says.
That feeling extends to her store, where she hopes customers can walk away with something they treasure, whether it’s a piece of jewelry or a piece of furniture.
“I carry a mix of things, not only clothes, or only furniture, and I stock what I like, so it’s very eclectic,” Lapinska says. “This store has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for something antique or vintage, or even newer jewelry that’s just very unique and handmade. You can walk away with something that’s $10 or $10,000.”
This variety of pieces and price points has been a hit with Hinsdale residents, especially the large collection of vintage, costume, and fine jewelry. Though less than a year old, Gia Haute & Home was voted as a “Best Store in Hinsdale for Gifts” by Hinsdale Living readers this year.
When people first started coming into the store, some would ask Lapinska for help styling a piece of furniture, or staging a particular area of their home. People were looking for a way to incorporate unique pieces into a room and looking to Lapinska’s style sense for help.
“Not everyone wants to fill their homes with all new furniture, and I like helping them add character,” Lapinska says. So she started offering redesign and staging services, as well. She also does holiday decorating for clients in the area.
Sometimes, customers have something in mind, but Lapinska doesn’t have it in stock. In these cases, she can order from vendors and connections in Europe. She still visits Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe, including Italy and France, on buying trips for the store and can seek out specific pieces for customers.
“Traveling the world looking for interesting, unique, beautiful pieces to bring to my customers is, of course, one of my favorite parts of this job,” she says.
Another favorite part? Getting to know the people in her community.
“I’ve so enjoyed getting to know my customers this year, talking about what they need and helping them find the perfect thing for themselves or to give as a gift,” she says. “I truly believe it’s important to be surrounded by beauty, and we will become better as people if we make an effort to surround ourselves with people
and things that we love.”
Almost a year in, Lapinska couldn’t be happier with her choice to open shop in Hinsdale, and she’s excited for what the next year will bring.
“I’ve learned that if you’re passionate about what you do, you can do and achieve anything, so I hope I can help others to not be scared to dream big too,” she says.
Gia Haute & Home is located at 45 S. Washington Street in Hinsdale,