We are always seeking local and national vendors to join our 3-12 month retail incubator space.  If interested please email:

What is the Absolutely Anything Essential?
Where is the gift shop Located?
Why is the gift shop located in Bronzeville?
Why did Kenya Renee develop Absolutely Anything Essential?
Who should consider merchandising in the Gift Shop?
What does the floor plan looks like?
What do I get if I rent space in the Absolutely Anything Essential Gift Shop?
What are the merchandising standards for tenants in The Gift Shop?
What is the required pop up contracting term?
What are the Absolutely Anything Essential Gift Shop hours of operation?
How do I get paid?
How do I reserve space in the Gift Shop?
Who should I contact for more information?



What is the Absolutely Anything Essential?  The Absolutely Anything Essential Gift Shop and incubator is in the heart of the thriving Bronzeville corridor, we are a retail market that features over 18 pop up shops offering apparel, jewelry, artwork, home furnishings, giftware, accessories, antiques, gourmet treats and more. 

Where is the gift shop Located? The Gift shop is located at 3521 S. King Drive, in Chicago, which is right in the heart of the 3rd ward, less than a five minute drive from Lake Shore Drive and a short stroll to the McCormick Place.

Why is the galleria located in Bronzeville? Bronzeville supports creative arts. Our mission is to offer unique experiences. Absolutely Anything Essential prides itself on its robust history of supporting locally owned independent businesses, advancing their missions and providing resources for those seeking to turn their hobbies into brick and mortar businesses.

Why did Kenya Renee Develop Absolutely Anything Essential? Absolutely Anything Essential was originally slated as a pop up shop who embraced vendor and flea markets throughout the Chicago land area. Three years later the theme has grown and continues to expand with its most recent occupany in one of Chicago’s most prestigue sections of the and it’s flagship location into a multi-level retailers incubator with unique opportunities to showcase top brands as well as local handmade artistans remarkable one of a kind items to shoppers who enjoy shopping local and still able to purchase brands they love and committed to and yet offer support for the local business owner they may personally meet.

Kenya realized that many start-up entrepreneurs, artists and artisans wanted essential high traffic outlets for their work. And many mid size to big box stores who once dominated retail industries still have loyal fans of their brands, seeking a unique location to shop and feel the ambiance of the brands they stand by.

Kenya developed this concept for which business owners, designers, developers,entrepreneurs, artists and artisans can successfully sell their merchandise in a professional setting without the traditional retail costs.

Who should consider merchandising in the gift shop?
Absolutely Anything Essential provides an opportunity for local business owners to run their business without the high costs of long term commitments.  The gift shop is perfect for artists, entrepreneurs and handmade artisans who have items to sell, but who are unable to commit to running a full service retail space.

What does the floor plan looks like?  Schedule meeting for more information.

What do I get if I rent space at Absolutely Anything Essential?  Space - Spaces range from  10 inches wide to 50 inches wide and 72 inches in length. All spaces are open for easy customer visibility. In addition to the open spaces, there is wall available to hang items. Each space will also include track lighting, 

A Manager, and Sales Associates - The gift shop is staffed by a qualified sales representatives who will handle all transactions. All sold items will be tracked to each vendor and vendors will receive a sales check each month for sales minus 3% commission of total monthly sales. While business owners need not be available to staff their own spaces, all are welcome to staff brand ambassadors onsite with the business owner, during scheduled days.

Fully Maintained Space - Common areas in the gift shop are cleaned by Absolutely Anything Essential's staff.

What are the merchandising standards for tenants in The Gift Shop? Absolutely Anything Essential sets a high standard for its merchandising environment. Products and artwork are displayed in a tasteful, inviting manner, creating an attractive inviting and highly supportive upscale setting that highlights the unique merchandise and artwork that are displayed.

What is the required pop-up term?  Business partner contracting is for 6 months or 12 months and may be cancelled at anytime with 30 days prior written notice, retailers should sign up for this space with the intent that this is a short term commitment. *Upon mutual agreements between manager and business owner, business owner may have first opportunity to renew and extend contract with no disruption of display. If a business owner is not doing well with sells or needs to get out of its space due to financial harship, 60 days prior written notice is required and the business owner will vacate the space in the condition in which it was delivered within 5 days of agreement to terminate.

What are the Absolutely Anything Essential Gift Shop hours of operation? We are open Thursday through Friday ( 12 pm until 6 pm) and Saturday (11 am until 6 pm.  Wednesdays & Sundays are by appointment only and available for partnering small business owners and private events.  Some additional rates may apply.

How do I get paid? Rent starts at $200 per month for a space on the first floor. You must pay the first 2 months at time of agreement for renting a pop up merchandising space at Absolutely Anything Essential. Business Owners seeking weekday space rentals to showcase their merchandise along with additional universal signature brands as a pop boutique as well as host meetings onsite rent for $500 - $ 700 per month, depending on location of pop up boutique. The gift shop also takes a 4% commission of monthly gross sales after the 30 day introductory period.  Business owners are paid at the end of each month. 

How do I reserve space in the Gift Shop? Please contact our manager with pictures of your products, services, resume and your price points for consideration.  Please contact us at 773-406-7663.  You can also reach us by email at

Who should I contact for more information?  Universal Brands no longer in mid-size to big box location space, business owners, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations seeking space.