Step inside one of New York City's most fascinating boutiques: Chaos. The quirky, colorful boutique features a dizzying array of items, from women’s clothing and accessories to home goods and gifts. At Chaos you’ll find handbags made in Ethiopia and South Africa, jewelry from near and far, personally designed clothing, and works by independent artists. The best part about this eclectic span of goodies is a broad range of prices, making the shop’s unique offerings accessible to almost anyone.
“Let’s just say it is a chaotic mix,” says Patricia Grace Stevens. Stevens is one of the two owners and operators of the boutique, the other being her South African-born friend, Elena Agostinis Patterson. Stevens explains the duo as “expert shoppers try(ing) to always be on the lookout for the unusual. We think that mix is what helps set Chaos apart.”
Many items hail from craftworkers in far-flung regions, while others come from vendors in the U.S. Products made by the owners themselves consistently dominate the store’s best-seller list and Stevens’ handmade jewelry usually sells as soon as it hits the shelves. The store also brings in products like handmade t-shirt scarves and handmade Dinamals (stuffed animals personalized to replicate a pet). “The boutique, as well as our own personal style, is inspired by a flair for fashion, a love of color, plus an innate sense of relaxed, contemporary design. Neither of us is afraid to take risks,” says Stevens.
Formerly known as Peoria Emporium, Stevens and Patterson changed the boutique’s name to make it more relatable, relevant, and easier to spell and remember. “It’s the perfect fit for us. And nothing is more fun than answering the phone and saying 'Hello, Chaos.'”
The goal behind Chaos was to create an unforgettable shopping experience to all by carrying items hard to imagine without physically seeing them. From a line of jewelry made from Peeps candy to an ottoman constructed from bras, you really never know what you’ll find!
Visit the boutique at 25 East 20th Street in Manhattan, or online and, as the owners say, “Let us help you fall down the rabbit hole!”