J&L This & That Store Opens in Whiting

by Gayle Kosalko

       I had looked forward to going into J&L This & That store located in the old Michelle’s Dance Studio on 119th Street.  For a few weeks, eye-catching and interesting window displays kept beckoning to me. 

      It’s so interesting when you first walk in,  you don’t know what to look at first. 

   I was greeted by one of the partners, Lorna Llanes (the  L in J&L)  Her partner is her sister-in-law Jeanette Llanes.  Their new shop  is something they have dreamed about opening for the last two years.

     “We’d been looking in Whiting and I just love this building with its tin ceilings,” Lorna said.   She added that the old tin ceiling got a lot of attention from her when they were fixing up their space.

     The store is divided into 10 spaces that are for rent.   One of the renters is Karen M. who owns “it’s Just Serendipity” on Hohman Avenue and she always has unique items. At the moment, the shop has a few areas still for rent and you should contact them if you yourself might be interested in having your own space.   This set-up is what makes the store so unique because everyone is displaying their own specialties whether it’s clever handcrafted items such as a 1950’s potato masher made into a Christmas design or a Burroughs adding machine complete in its own original stand.

     Lorna and her husband do wonderful lighted glass block art, that makes a  perfect gift for the sports fan who has everything.   Most are sports affiliated and her husband does the etching by hand.  But they can be custom made as well.  When you go in, notice the pretty one on the counter which is serving as a  donation glass box for Whiting’s Animal Shelter.  The two made one as a gift for the shelter as well.

    One display window features a Christmas tree who’s top half is a cool mannequin.  A wonderful antique oak flyer sled on sale for only $47 is displayed in the other.   Each of the partners designs one of the showcase windows.

     “We have two have completely different styles and that’s why it works, “ Lorna said.  Each has their own favorite item that’s come into the store too.  Lorna loves a small elegant smoking cabinet lined on the inside with copper. 

     Jeannette is partial to the vintage clothing.  There’s an absolutely gorgeous cocoa brown two piece 1940’s woman’s suit on the rack along with other neat pieces.  And if you like jewelry, old and new, there’s all kinds throughout the store.

     Here you’ll find some unusual pieces of furniture, lots of Christmas decorations, a bocce bowling set, glassware, antiques and collectibles, lamps and lots of other items that don’t really fall into any particular category… just that they are “finds.”  There’s an entire wall just of handmade wreaths which are quite enticing.

   The store has done well since opening its door November 9th, 2018.  J&L also does a daily posting on their FB page of what’s new.  Thanks to FB post,  they got a lady who came in from Crown Point to find out what the store’s all about.

    “Facebook reaches so many areas and brings new people into Whiting,” Lorna said.  “And downtown Whiting is such a great old neighborhood with such friendly people who still walk around their downtown.  We were happy to hear so many of them who said they were excited to see us open in town.”

       And when customers do come in, what’s the big appeal you’ll find at This N That that you might not find somewhere else?  

     “Customers like the hunt, finding something they didn’t expect to find here,” Lorna said. “Each area is from a seller with different tastes so there’s a real variety.”

     Located downtown Historic Whiting on 119th Street, the shop is opened Wednesday through Friday  from  10a.m. to 6p.m.   Saturday hours are 10a.m.  to 4p.m.  Check out their Facebook updates, (be sure to type in “J&L This N That Consignment Shop” consider renting your own space,  and you can reach the shop by calling 219-655-5238.

     Stop in and buy “this & that” like I did on my first visit.

Sue Baxter