by Cecilia Karl | Photography by Jazmin Corona
When’s the last time you heard the words “lingerie” and “healthy body image” in the same sentence? Never? We thought so. So you can bet our ears perked when we discovered Bucktown’s G Boutique, a lingerie and toy shop with a serious mission—to empower women to feel safe, comfortable, and good about themselves and their sex lives.

Curious, we took a field trip, eager to meet the woman behind this admirable goal. Inside her bright pink shop—our imagining of a modern day Moulin Rouge—owner Cheryl Sloane opened up about all things lace and silk—and how a good set of underthings can boost your mood.

Q: How would you describe G Boutique to the woman who’s never popped in?

We’re all about making women feel good: about themselves, with themselves, and with their partners. We’re a store that’s owned by women. We opened because we felt like we needed a place like this to go to, and we’re all about women having the knowledge to have better romantic lives.

We’re feminine and we’re pink. Very pink [laughs]. We opened for women, but we found that men love our store too. We are a place where you can buy everything you need for romance: beautiful lingerie that fits, that looks good, and that feels good; sex toys, DVDs, and books—everything to enhance your romantic life.

Q: What prompted you to open up shop?

We’re all about making women feel good: about themselves, with themselves, and with their partners. We’re a store that’s owned by women.

Before I even had the idea to start my own business, [my girlfriends and I] would visit different shops, only to realize we didn’t feel comfortable in them. We didn’t even want to touch anything, let alone make a purchase. And what’s worse—we didn’t even want to be seen walking in! It struck me as so backwards: Why should women not feel safe or comfortable walking into a store that sells items predominantly for their use?

Q: What sets G Boutique apart from the big box stores we all know?

When you come into our store, we’re looking to make a connection. It’s not just about today’s sale. We feel like we’re doing our jobs when customers feel comfortable enough to come back time and again. At G, we’re all about creating community, as opposed to worrying about what our day’s sales will be.

Also, our store is a comforting environment. We want you to sit down and relax, to learn while you’re here, and to spend some time. You can have a cup of tea with us, or a glass of wine—depending on the time of day. That’s what we’re here for, to make you comfortable in our environment. That makes a big difference for women.

Q: What would you say to the shy woman who’s apprehensive about whether or not to come into G?

We’re all about you feeling good for yourself. Even if you’re shy or timid, you still want nice fabrics next to your skin. So what we try to do is address the individual at her own comfort level. If it’s about just buying a silky robe, or a comfortable, thick, plush robe that has a little bit of style to it, or if it’s just about changing up your basics a little bit. Sexy isn’t all lace and low-cut. That’s certainly a part of it, and it’s a fine way to go if you’re interested in it, but sexy is about how you feel in what you’re wearing.

Q: Tell us a little bit about stocking this beautiful place. What do you look for when you buy for the shop?

After 10 years we feel like we know our customers pretty well. So we look for styles that we’ve had a history with, colors that we know look good against bright pink walls, and items that we love. When we first started buying, we went to a show in California. Everyone there told us we just needed extra-small, small, and medium sizes. We were taken aback. We live in a community of real women and we celebrate that. We want all women to come in and feel good about what they buy. So it’s important to us to have a range of sizes, fabrics, and colors.

Q: When G Boutique first opened its doors 10 years ago, what was the reaction?


Mostly really positive, though there was a little pushback. We had this immediate notoriety because we were different and we were doing something so new. But there were people who wouldn’t walk in. Our alderman’s office used to be right across the street. So before we even signed the lease we went and talked to him. We wanted to be upfront about the business we were running and we found that he was very supportive. Now we’ve become part of the neighborhood. We don’t exist in addition to the neighborhood, we are a part of it.

We live in a community of real women and we celebrate that. We want all women to come in and feel good about what they buy.

When we first opened our doors, 99% of the response was “thank you so much.” It’s such an interesting community we’re building. We have women of all ages—even women in their 70s and 80s walk in who tell us they wished such a shop had existed when they were raising their daughters…they wish it had existed to teach young women to be positive about their bodies.

Q: What would G Boutique recommend for the woman who’s just beginning to stock her lingerie drawer?

Without hesitation, I’d suggest starting with delicate camisoles. Only Hearts has the perfect cami that’s just so comfortable. Once you have one, you’ll fall in love and want it in every color. Pair it with matching boy shorts. It’s great because both can be worn separately, but when you put them together, you have an adorable little lingerie set! Also, Eberjey’s pajama sets. Everything they make is luscious! You’ll just want to lounge all day and it’s nicer than wearing your husband’s boxers and t-shirt to bed.

From there? Basic everyday bras. Bras are so important and too many people wear bad bras, or wear them for far too long. It’s so easy to wear a nicer bra than you normally wear and still have coverage and style and fit. Just turn it up one notch.

If you’re ready to spice it up a little bit, Eberjey’s teddies are subtle and sexy. They’re like little rompers, only so luxurious on your skin. You don’t have to go crazy. Get something that you’re comfortable in that’s just a little bit nicer than what you normally wear. You’ll see a difference in how you feel.

Q: Why should women bother with what they wear underneath their clothing if no one is going to see it? Because it makes you feel good. It’s not about who sees it. When you feel sexy, you look sexy. I don’t care how many times you go to the gym. If you feel sexy, you look sexy. But go to the gym anyway! [Laughs]


G Boutique set up shop in Bucktown at 2131 N. Damen. Visit for lingerie, sleepwear, erotica, sex-positive workshops, and more. Visit G Boutique online or give them a call at (773) 235-1234).
Photography by Jazmin Corona
Photography by Jazmin Corona
Photography by Jazmin Corona
Photography by Jazmin Corona
Photography by Jazmin Corona
Photography by Jazmin Corona
Photography by Jazmin Corona
2013-02-12