Kimberly Stampley, owner of Stamp’Lay’s Executive Salon Boutique at 1371 E. 53rd Street, has been a Hyde Park business owner since 1998. Her 53rd Street shop offers women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories as well as salon services. Originally from North Carolina, Stampley fell in love with fashion and hair styling as a young girl, watching her grandmothers and aunts carefully coordinate their ensembles – including dresses, gloves, hats, handbags, shoes, and even handkerchiefs. After moving to Chicago in 1994, Stampley started her career as a hairstylist and image consultant, opening her boutique shortly thereafter.
As the mother of two sons (one in college and one in high school), Stampley explained that her younger son, Trevor, has “a big heart” and often helps her make soup to offer people experiencing homelessness from a crock pot in her store during the winter months.
In 2017, Trevor, now a high school sophomore, asked her what those dealing with homelessness would do on Christmas, and that gave Stampley a brainstorm – she would host a free dinner in her store and invite anyone who wanted to enjoy the fun and friendship of a holiday meal – including people experiencing homelessness, University of Chicago students, and people who might not have friends or relatives nearby. She moved out all of her merchandise; decorated the store with lights and holiday garland; borrowed tables and chairs from her church, the Redemptive Tabernacle Church of God in Christ; and created one long table in the middle of the store to seat about 30 people. Stampley rounded up family members, friends, and members of her church to wear antler hats and aprons and serve the guests, who started arriving at noon until about 8 p.m. In addition to the meal, guests were treated to gift bags containing gloves, socks, and toiletries. Each guest was served as if he or she were in her own dining room, and it was important to Stampley that no one feel rushed.
This is the third year Stampley is offering her holiday meal at the boutique, planned for Wednesday, December 25 from 12-8 p.m. Stampley’s older son, Tavis, will be home from college to help serve the meal along with the rest of the family. The menu sounds like the makings of a feast, and may include main courses such as roast chicken, turkey, pulled pork, and beef stew, along with sides of stuffing/dressing, green beans, macaroni and cheese, yams, potato salad, fried plantains, and more. Desserts may include pineapple coconut cake, old fashioned pound cake, chocolate cake, sweet potato pie, and banana pudding.
Stampley is proud that through the efforts of her church members, some of her guests who were previously experiencing homelessness now reside in Hyde Park. The event is a true labor of love, and a way for Stampley to share the welcoming spirit of what Christmas means to her.
It’s not easy to pull together an event of this magnitude, and for those interested in serving at the event or donating money, food, decorations, centerpieces, paper goods/cutlery, or items for the gift bags, Stampley can be reached at email@example.com or 773-241-6200.