Handcrafted Community + Full of Character = Naomi Martinez, Monstrochika.


Photo by Joel Gonzalez of WeOurStoryPhoto by Joel Gonzalez of WeOurStory

Who is Naomi?
I grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. My mother was always sewing outfits for us as kids and making crafts, and my dad was always “fixing” and building things around the house. So, I guess you can say its in my genes—being a maker and working with my hands. I am an Artist and also work as a Legal Assistant at a law firm in downtown Chicago. My absolute most favorite thing to do is, of course, working on my art from my cozy home studio. I also enjoy gardening, cooking and reading or geeking out on a good art documentary.

Why do you live in Berwyn?
We were looking for a home and as first time homeowners, we found the most affordable homes to be in Berwyn. Its funny, many friends say the home we found fits our style and my art so perfectly. It’s an English Tudor style home that we instantly loved and looks like something out of a storybook, surrounded by trees and a beautiful garden. We wouldn’t be too far from our family in Chicago and the CTA and Metra trains are close by. The neighborhood was a lot like what we were used to in Chicago with schools, parks, supermercado and other everyday needs nearby.

Where is your favorite place to go in Berwyn?
I love biking around or going for a walk around the neighborhood with our dog, Luke. Sunshine Park and my favorite, Proksa Park, are both right up the street from us. It’s a fun walk—we love watching all the families and kids playing or just sitting and visiting the duck pond and the children’s garden.

If we were to have a “Berwyn Day,” where would we go and what would we do?
We would definitely go to Friendly’s and check out all the cool wares the local artists are selling at the Craft & Vintage Market. Then we’d stop in to see the cool miniature train town at Berwyn Trains and Toys. Afterwards, we’d grab lunch at Tasty Corner Café and visit Reel Art collectibles right next door. We’d go for a walk, admiring the lovely historic homes that are along our way to see beautiful Proksa Park. Finally, we’d go check out the latest art work up at The Outtaspace and enjoy a cold beer in their outdoor patio.

Why is Berwyn #NothingLikeASuburb?
There’s a unique vibe here. We love the small community feeling and that our neighbors are always looking out for one another, but we don’t lose out on the city energy. There is also a strong artist community and many family-friendly neighborhood festivals that are growing more fantastic each year. Everyone here, whether from Chicago or long time Berwynners, is happy and proud to support the local arts, businesses and events.

What is the Why Berwyn? Campaign?

Since 2007, the City of Berwyn has actively promoted its rich history and forward momentum. The campaign’s objective is to pique the curiosity of Chicago area residents and to create a driving desire to visit and live in Berwyn.

The 2018 campaign continues its storytelling under the “Nothing Like A Suburb” tagline that has been used for the past four years. This year’s messaging carries over from 2017 and reflects Berwyn’s core values and assets—our individuality, genuine community and unabashed self-awareness. Outdoor advertising and social media will again focus on two themes, Full of Character(s) and Handcrafted Community. This year, the BDC collaborated with local photographer Joel Gonzalez of WeOurStory to capture the campaign images.

Each theme highlights specific local “characters” to help illustrate our message. Our characters – whether they are homegrown or have seen Berwyn as a beacon for their craft – have made an impact on our cultural landscape.

The 2018 campaign runs from June through September and includes billboards in Chicago neighborhoods, posters on CTA el platforms, direct-to-consumer outreach through special events and social media engagement. The responsively designed WhyBerwyn.com blog provides visitors with a stream of information on the area’s real estate, businesses, schools, parks and recreation, cultural hot spots and special events.

For more information, continue here.

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