All posts by beixixu2017

Gig Economy Meets Chorerelief App To Connect With Customers

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

Chorerelief is a Chicago based company that connects customers and workers who do chores and small projects such as cleaning and handy work around the home. It now serves more than 17 hundred users across the country, and most of its customers are in the Chicago and New York City areas.

Customers can use this mobile app to set their own price, own time and add photos and different locations. These selections will screen different providers and call the nearby workers in less than 30 minutes.

​Photo at top:Victoria Diouf(left) is talking to worker Cesar Ledezma(right) and his helper Selene Tub(middle), they are helping her clean the apartment. (Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Bombobar uses social media to attract customers

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

Bombobar is a walkby window in the heart of the West Loop neighborhood. It serves customers doughnuts, coffee, gelato and more. Bombobar is active on all social media platforms. It has 23,000 followers on Instagram, 17,425 followers on Facebook and 2,129 followers on Twitter. Vivid photographs attract customers from all over the country.​

According to Jennifer Falbo, general manager of Bombobar, it serves 1,000 doughnuts week days, and 3,000 doughnuts on weekends. It also sells 2,000 hot chocolates a week. Be prepared to stand in line because of the social media effect, there is usually a 45 minute to one hour wait on weekends.

​Photo at top:Customers from Atlanta are taking selfies in front of the wall.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

D.J.’s bike doctor will close after seven years in Hyde Park

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

David Jones, the owner of D.J.’s Bike Doctor won’t be practicing his craft much longer, he is going to close his bike store in the fall after seven years in Hyde Park.​

After working on bikes in this community for 40 years, Jones has decided to leave the city and move to Arizona. His customers say they will miss him. He hopes someone will take over his business before he leaves.

​Photo at top:David Jones is fixing bike in his store.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Chicago’s new Riverwalk hopes to entice more tourists

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

Tomorrow is the official opening of Chicago’s Riverwalk summer activites, many free events are open to public from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

The new Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile promenade through the whole city from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street along the south bank of the Chicago river. It is a good place for tourists to enjoy the architecture, and vendors along the Riverwalk are expecting to have better summer sales.

​Photo at top: Tourists are enjoying the city on Chicago’s new Riverwalk.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Pilsen store uses new media to sell vintage items

By Beixi Xu

With more than 400 thrift stores in Chicago, some owners are trying new methods to reach an audience and break free from the pack. ​​Pilsen Vintage and Thrift is the largest store of its kind in the Pilsen community. Two years ago, the owner began to use social media and now has over 2,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook.​

​Photo at top: Owner Paul Guizar arranges a rack of clothes at Pilsen Vintage and Thrift.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Chicago Mosaic School pieces together art and students

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu and Wenjing Yang

The Chicago Mosaic School is the first non-profit mosaic arts school in the U.S. CMS gives artists, teachers and students a place to explore all facets of the craft.

The school has graduated more than 3,000 students and lets participants collaborate and create sustainable Mosaic Art for public or commercial spaces.

Real Good Juice is enjoying really good sales

​​ By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

In Chicago there’s a cold press juice company that is very successful. Given its growth, it is living up to its name, Real Good Juice. It’s only been open for two years, and is expanding rapidly.

​Photo at top: Organic drinks in Real Good Juice Southport store.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Gasoline prices expected to keep rising this summer

By Beixi(Bessie) Xu

According to a recent AAA survey, the national average gas price will go up 40 cents per gallon this summer, peaking near $2.70. In Chicago, analysts expect prices to rise even more, surpassing $3 per gallon.

Drivers in downtown Chicago are noticing the rising price of gasoline, but aren’t overly concerned just yet.

​Photo at top:Drivers are pumping gas in BP gas station on LaSalle Street.(Beixi Xu/MEDILL)​

Explosive Ulta Beauty will open 100 more stores

By Beixi Xu

Gina Torres, a Chicagoan who works in Home Depot, just finished shopping in Ulta Beauty’s North Avenue store.​

“I am a fan of the store, and I get my cosmetics here, today I got my new eyeliner,” said Torres. “I live not far from here, only three to five miles. I usually drive here, and the parking is free in this area.”

Based in Bolingbrook, Ulta Beauty Inc. is the largest national beauty retailer featuring cosmetics, fragrances, skin and hair care products and salon services. As of Jan. 28, 2017, Ulta Beauty operates 974 retail stores across 48 states and offers more than 20,000 products from over 500 well-established and emerging beauty brands through its website.

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Chinese entrepreneurs still find success in Chicago

By Beixi (Bessie) Xu

In Chicago there’s a Chinese online food ordering platform that became known for its modest $1 delivery fee. All the co-founders and employees are Chinese, it delivers meals of 26 Asian restaurants, mostly in Chinatown, and after just two years, it already has 12,000 users, 90 percent of them Chinese. This is Chowbus.

It was launched by Linxin Wen, now 27, then a graduate student in public administration who objected to paying higher meal delivery fees. “At that time I was a master’s student in Illinois Institute of Technology. When I ordered food I found the delivery fee in Chicago is ridiculous. I spent $5 to $10 for each meal. At that time I figured out there should be some way to reduce the high delivery fee,” Wen recalled.

The staff of Chowbus is all Chinese, all young and full of passion.

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