This week, Laura and Sara are joined by Todd Mack, co-owner of FOURSIDED. FOURSIDED began its journey in 2001 and strives to cultivate communities that enjoy art. Their mission is to bring each of their guest’s imagination to life with one of a kind art, custom framing, curated gifts, ephemera, and vintage objects. Visit Foursided in Andersonville at 5061 N. Clark, for all of your custom and vintage framing, unique gifts and handmade greeting cards needs.
“When I visited small towns that had a Main Street shopping district, that’s what turned me on.”
– Todd Mack
Listen to Episode 24 with Todd Mack!
Here are some references from Episode 24 that you may want to check out:
- Todd started in the world of framing in late 80s because he was an arts kid. He didn’t know anything about it but was looking for something to do other than serving (which he was doing at the time at Big Boy).
- Todd owned a gallery in Lansing, MI for about 7 years before coming to Chicago
- Todd started Foursided in the back of an antique shop called Fobels
- The Andersonville store opened in 2005 and is the largest of the three FOURSIDED stores. This location carries the most vintage and antique items, and Todd is physically at the Andersonville store more and gets to be more hands on – he’s also a resident! View Foursided’s other locations here.
“I clock my progress with people by how good a day everybody had.”
– Todd Mack
- Todd has a robust, young team. They are super nice, confident and he strives to create a fun environment.
- Sara references artist Rick McEachern’s recent podcast interview, airing next week for Arts Week, and how he mentions to young artists that they have to get up early and work hard everyday. Todd ends up advising a lot of handmade artists as well on how to progress their craft – his employees are artists too!
- Todd does antiquing personally and goes to every antique shop in the 5 state Midwest region. Gift ware is purchased by a team of buyers with FOURSIDED – everyone shares the responsibility. A lot is found at gift shows, some walk in the doors, some come in via catalogs. Shop gifts here!
- Framing is done at two of the locations. Customers are encouraged to come in with artwork in hand. It’s a free quote and the staff spends as much time as they need assessing your project. FOURSIDED offers wide pallet of framing for all budgets. They offer a special “least expensive” section but vintage frames are the biggest money saver! Learn more about framing services here.
- FOURSIDED is a sponsor for Andersonville Arts Week coming up September 12-16 and is the artist at his own store! This year he’s doing some word art with ephemeral faces featuring vintage paper cutters. “It’s like a naked thing on the wall.” Everything built two weeks prior to the show.
- Todd’s artwork was featured on HGTV with Vern Yip from Trading Spaces who was hosting a Chicago-based show
- Todd finds inspiration in collections of objects (i.e. massive amounts of the same thing like piles of silverware)
- Todd and his partner Gino were featured on the back of this year’s 2018-19 Neighborhood Guide. He tells us a fun story about eating a “gentleman’s diner” at It’s Greek 2 U Grill (5449 N Clark) here in Andersonville and the owner Vicki asked them to sign the back of the Guide for her mother. It really is FREE! Todd had to put a “Free” sign out for folks so they would know they could take it.
- Todd still has memories of the mercury balls on the Christmas tree and credits a lot of his holiday decor love to his mom. “Less is not more – more is more” when it comes to Holiday’s at FOURSIDED! But fun fact, Todd does not decorate for the Holidays at home – he saves all of his energy for the stores.
- Todd would love to try out the careers of cake decorating or do something with dogs. He used to want to go into the veterinary medicine.
- Todd would love to trade places with Transistor (5224 N Clark) and Roost (5634 N Clark) if given the chance
- As a long standing Andersonville business, Todd has seen many changes to his South of Foster area of South Andersonville. Sara ask him to reflect on some of his new neighbors. While he’s sad that Marguerite Gardens (his former next door neighborhood) moved on, he welcomes Clark Haus (5059), the greatness of Milk (5137 N Clark) and Honey (5135 N Clark), Bar Roma (5101 N Clark) brings a big draw, and across the street too with the recent additions of Dollop Diner (5060 N Clark), and Jet’s Pizza (5058 N Clark) – people are walking South of Foster more than ever. He encourages shoppers to not forget about places like The Wooden Spoon (5047 N Clark), another long standing Andersonville business, as the construction has been brutal and the dust has been hard.