What would it be like to walk into Oprah Winfrey's consciousness? My colleague and Sun-Times business reporter Sandra Guy tells you:
You can get close by walking into the new Oprah Store, a mishmash of the star's sayings, passions, gurus and even her closet, right down the street from Harpo Studios on Chicago's Near West Side.
Perhaps you'd need to make a purchase and delve deeper into the experience.
In that case, feel stress-free in an Oprah nightgown and baby-soft socks, writing in your "Passion" journal while sipping hot tea from a mug emblazoned with one of Oprah's favorite quotes. "Live Your Own Dreams" is always a heart-warmer.
It's all about comfort and self-expression -- and lots of attention from hovering salespeople -- at the store at 37 N. Carpenter, set off by large acrylic O's that light up at night on the entry walkway. Inside, bamboo, pastel colors and a brightly lighted loft set the tone.
Oprah fans have had a week to browse the 5,500-square-foot store.
The most popular item? On Thursday morning, 70 shoppers snapped up $13 cosmetics bags decorated with blue, yellow, pink and purple O's.
The setting ranges from subtle messages -- small O's hardly visible on the pockets of workout shirts and pants -- to out-and-out Oprah worship, with photos of Oprah and her favorite causes on the walls, and a TV mounted on a wall rerunning "The Oprah Winfrey Show's" 20th anniversary special.
OUR SHOPPER'S FAVORITE THINGS
Trendiest: Glass-bead and telephone-wire bowls and baskets handmade by women in Africa, from $45 to $120.
Prettiest: Handmade beaded key rings in the shapes of a giraffe, crocodile, elephant and giraffe, $8.
Smartest: Books by Maya Angelou, fitness guru Bob Greene, relationship expert Robin Smith and diet doctors Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen.
Altruistic: Profits from the sale of sweat shirts, T-shirts and other clothing dedicated to Oprah's charitable Angel Network and her African school are returned to those causes.
Coordinated: This one is a tie between attire for small dogs, with a $24 Polo shirt, $12 collar and $15 leash, and a workout outfit for people, with a $30 T-shirt, $40 drawstring pants, $5 socks, $6 water bottle, $46 gym bag and a $16 baseball cap for bad hair days.
Most retro: Velour jogging outfits with an O zipper pull, $100.
Sexiest: A pair of Gianfranco Ferre brown crocodile ankle boots from Oprah's closet, $300.