Lori Andre | August 17, 2023

2019: A Year of Inspiration

2019 is coming to a close and we are about to enter 2020. The other day, I was thinking back to when I was in sixth grade in the 1960’s. Back then, the year 2000 seemed so futuristic and so far away. As that kid, I wondered to myself, “Where will I be in the year 2000 and what will I be doing?” So, here it is decades later and I’m doing exactly what I was destined to do. I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1983 and I’m proud of all that I have achieved  as an independent woman’s business owner. I love what I do. I love the excitement of going to market for buying; I love when new product arrives in the stores; I love being able to work with my amazing staff and with great customers like you.

Here I am in sixth grade. The fashion bug had already hit me!

2019 was an inspiring and successful year, both for me personally and for Lori’s. New goals were met and new vendors were discovered. We continued to build our brand, L’idea by Lori, expanded our clothing business with a fresh assortment, and continued to grow our online internet presence. And, I was inspired by fellow women entrepreneurs, like Esther Fishman and Pam Rose, who shared stories of their successful businesses.

On a personal note, I’ve spent time enjoying our wonderful family and, most importantly, our grandson Dylan. As our family grows, so does our staff at Lori’s. You will still recognize all the familiar faces, along with a few new additions, helping our business grow. Maybe you’ve even met our amazing son, Matthew, who is working along side us.

For those of you who may not be aware, my husband, Brian, was diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2016. You may have shopped during the month of May for ALS awareness and the “You Shop, We Give” campaign for our foundation,  I AM ALS.  I am happy to write that Brian continues to do well and we continue to raise money and awareness to find cures. Even our dear friend, Steve Madden, has been incredibly supportive, along with so many of our amazing customers and friends who’ve joined our fight. You can read about all the great work we are doing to find cures at: www.iamals.org

I’ve included a few photographic moments to remind myself that I continue to love what I do; love the people and the product. In 2020, I will continue to work hard for you, our customers, who I so appreciate and who inspire me everyday to be a better buyer, better employer, better retailer, better wife, sister, mother, daughter and friend. 

Here’s to 2020! Good health, happiness and as always, good shoes!





  • Shatona Griffin says...
    On February 18, 2020

    Lori, I love your store and ha e been a customer since the 90s and when I come home it is must to stop by and always buy something… every piece and pair of shoes, I refuse to let go and still get complements.
    I love your story and so happy that your husband is still doing well, I keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Sindy says...
    On January 02, 2020

    Glad to hear that your husband is doing well. I applaud you for your campaign and drawing awareness to ALS. To many people are affected by this horrific illness. I pray that very soon “ALS” will be preventable/curable.

    I was wondering if you could reccommend narrow shoes (if not, narrow fitting), that are stylish. Thank you so much!

  • Julie Guthrie says...
    On January 02, 2020

    Happy new year to you as well Lori! I lived in Chicago down the street from your first location on Armitage when you opened. It’s been wonderful watching your business grow. My daughter who lives still lives downtown is a regular and sends me wonderful things from your store. Whenever I’m in Chicago going to the store is a must !!

  • Carla says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Lori, from the first day I met you over 30 years ago, you have not changed. Your life mission: to love others through your talent in fashion, supporting family with love and gentleness, being present as a friend through your encouragement and consistent empathy, as an voracious advocate for causes you believe in and just being the role model you are with your combination of strength and kindness.
    Every person who walks into your store or into your life is made better by your unique gifts and touches.
    May YOU be blessed abundantly in this coming year! ❤️

  • Helen Distefano says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Wonderful blog post – great story – super pictures, Lori! I enjoyed reading it. You and Brian look great and your grandson, Dylan, is adorable! I remember your son when he was just a toddler running around your store – it’s so awesome that he is in the business working side by side. Congratulations on all that you’ve accomplished in the 36+ years Lori’s Shoes has been in business! I graduated from college in 1982 and moved with three friends to an apartment on Fremont right around the corner from Lori’s and for years, we watched your business grow! Lori’s was a regular stop for us on Saturdays, and I spent way too much money over the years at your store! And I still do now from my home in Washington, DC. :) All the best to you and your family in 2020. I will keep you all in my prayers! Helen xoxoxox

  • Julia Stanley says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Lori -

    I just wanted to thank you for heartfelt words and for creating such a wonderful space. We moved from Chicago in 2001, and every time I make it back to the city, Lori’s is one of my stops. Your staff, who have been there for years or not, are so welcoming and kind and fun – unique in the retail world. Lori’s always reminds me of what I love (and miss) about Chicago – warm, kind, and interesting people and places.

    May your family be strong and healthy and cared for by your amazing community.

    Warm regards,

    Julia Stanley

  • Donna Karpik says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Lori…..Your story and the Loris story is so beautiful and inspirational. I am so proud to have been a part of this story as a customer first and then part of the family working at Northfield for nearly 25 years. Though my life has gone in a different direction my lifetime at Loris will never be forgotten. I say lifetime because it truly was!
    I would like to wish the whole Loris family a Happy Healthy New Year! To the Cure!!! Love Donna

  • Julie Kipta says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Hi Lori,
    Thank you so much for sharing your life, your successes, your challenges, your inspirations ( I love Esther too) and your joys!! I am a business owner too ( Julie Kipta Inc.- showroom in the Kinzie street Building) and although this business seems to get harder, you make it look effortless and joyous. My father died in 1996 of ALS & I also know your challenges. You inspire me & I also love shopping at Lori’s buying Project Social & your great shoes, boots, L’Idea & bags. I met you once at the Las Vegas airport & I would love to meet with you again one day. Thank you again for your inspiration. It is truly a gift!! Warm Regards, Julie Kipta

  • Ann Scott says...
    On December 31, 2019

    I love your store and all of your offerings. The quality, style and selection is always top notch! It’s always a treat to shop at Lori’s Shoes. I wish you and your family a great 2020!
    Ann Scott, Fellow shoe and fashion lover.

  • Linda Levi says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Beautiful story Lori
    You are and always have been my favorite store to shop
    ( even though I live in Arizona now)
    Happy and Healthy New Year !!!
    Hi to your Mom
    Linda Levi

  • Gloria Griesbach says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Dear Lori,
    I have always loved your stores and your “people” and have been shopping with you since the 80’s. During the 90’s I was diagnosed with an incurable rare cancer. Here I am 14 years later – 2020! Many days after a treatment, or just a dark day I would go to your store for a pick me up. At that time it was too hard to share my story – so I would just go in and feel all the positive energy and surround myself in your beautiful shoes, accessories and clothing. It was my perfect escape. Nothing picks me up like a great pair of shoes and a good chat. So I want to say two things to you, first thank you from the bottom of my heart for being that independent female entrepreneur who started Lori’s. Next, please know the energy and love you bring to your husband and family as you travel the ALS journey is the biggest gift you can give. I wish you and yours much strength and good health for 2020!
    My Best,
    ❤️ Gloria Griesbach

  • Linda Simons says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Your message about the fight to cure ALS resonates with me personally as my father had ALS. May 2020 bring the much needed cure we are all praying for.
    Continued success in your business and hope to see you in 2020💕

  • Linda Freedman says...
    On December 31, 2019

    I have been shopping at your wonderful stores in Chicago since the 1990’s. Even before. Love your wonderful life story and wishing your husband the best in his fight with ALS. You are my hero. Best, Linda Freedman

  • Lisa Russ says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Lori – I found this post to be inspiring. I now live in Evanston but I lived a few blocks from your Armitage store for 15 years and shopped there many times. I will stop by again soon for my Lori’s “fix”. Thank you for bringing your special touch to the neighborhood: fun, fashion, community and uniquely “Chicago”.

  • Karen Skurie says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Happy healthy new year!!

  • Kaye Mitzenmacher says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Love shopping in your store. Always new and exciting merchandise. Keep it coming, you deserve your success.
    Wishing you a very Happy 2020

    PS Love your Highland Park staff. They are super friendly and helpful.

  • Tammy Hennessy says...
    On December 31, 2019

    We love you and all you stand for, Lori! You’ve been part of many of our stories for decades!! Here’s to 2020 and all the adventures it brings…..

  • Tammy Hennessy says...
    On December 31, 2019

    We love you and all you stand for, Lori! You’ve been part of many of our stories for decades!! Here’s to 2020 and all the adventures it brings…..

  • Robyn Cherry says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Such a beautiful story, message, and inspiration, I wish you and your family a happy, henew year with sustained heath, prosperity, and surprises!

  • Maria McLennan says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Thank you for sharing! ❤️ Everything you do

  • Mary Timberman says...
    On December 31, 2019

    My husband has ALS. He has had it for 34 years.
    So keep your prayers and faith.
    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    God Bless,
    Mary Timberman
    Fishers, In

  • Jodi says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Love the article , love your store . Live in Michigan but love coming to see all the new shoes you have. Happy Healthy New Year to you and all your family

  • Maralyn Owen says...
    On December 31, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your journey…. life has a way of throwing curveballs when least expected… and then giving us a gift… like a grandchild. Continued success and gifts to you in 2020.

  • Jaimie Georgis says...
    On December 31, 2019

    May 2020 promise to bring you continued joy, peace, faith, courage, triumphs & LOVE!!

  • Alayne says...
    On December 31, 2019

    You and B inspire us in all ways of life; fashion, food, family and most importantly 💜🌟💜love!

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