2020 Best of SW Lake Awards

Honoring Local Women Making a Difference in SW Lake County

Article by Michael Beightol

Photography by Stephen Neilson

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle


@Properties, Long Grove


For nearly 20 years, Renee Clark (ReneeClarkHomes.com) has distinguished herself as a consistent top producer in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago, finishing in the top 1-3% of sales associates annually and receiving numerous recognitions for achieving high annual sales volume. Renee's passionate commitment to help fight and end breast cancer began years ago when her immediate family members were affected by and even lost their battle to the disease. Over the years Renee has led teams to proudly raise more than $275,000 for the cause. A devoted dog lover, Renee is a staunch advocate for pet adoption.

This 2020 Best of SW Lake Award is presented for:

  • Longevity of performance and superior level of service provided to the community as a Realtor.

  • Positively representing the community through helping families transitioning from their homes, as well as welcoming families new to the area.

  • Deeply demonstrated commitment to raising funds to fight breast cancer and support for pet adoption.


LUXE wearhouse, Kildeer and Vernon Hills


LUXE wearhouse launched in 2013 when long-time friends Marcy Sparr and Annie O’Brien transitioned from wholesale fashion to the world of retail. LUXE wearhouse is a friendly, luxury shopping experience without high price tags. With over 15 years of wholesale and retail experience and through connections in the industry, LUXE provides the most current, fashionable finds at great prices, with online shopping and ordering ability. Now with two full-time retail stores, LUXE wearhouse (LUXEwearhouse.com) is where customers are friends and the focus is on a comfortable boutique environment offering quality, fashionable merchandise.

This 2020 Best of SW Lake Award is presented for:

  • A superior level of service provided to the community.

  • Willingness of the founders to take the risk to expand their service with the opening of a second shop at Mellody Farm.

  • Service to the community as not only shopkeepers and fashion trendsetters, but local leaders setting a positive example for women in the community.


@Properties, Lake Zurich


When Sandra Frampton moved from the UK in 2001, a colleague suggested she investigate working in real estate. It was great advice. Sixteen years into her career as a Realtor, Sandra (SandraFrampton.com) provides an array of marketing and technology tools, innovation and a focus on community. Her experience with the emotional and physical challenges that go with an international move allows her to help families going through similar life changes. Sandra is Chairperson for District 95 Educational Foundation whose mission is to support every D95 learner.

This 2020 Best of SW Lake Award is presented for:

  • The number of years and superior level of service provided to the community.

  • The ability to positively represent the community and work with both families transitioning from their homes, as well as families new to the area.

  • Commitment to education as the board chair of the (Lake Zurich) D95 Educational Foundation.


Threads Boutique, Wauconda


Linda Starkey seems to be in perpetual motion. Her shop, Threads Boutique (ThreadsForAll.com) offers stylish, casual fashions for women and men. The renovation by Linda and her husband, Glenn, of the Main Street Center is a sight to behold. Service as former Wauconda village trustee, parks board member, North Barrington village president and political candidate all speak to Linda's community involvement. Perhaps, however, her biggest impact is through a family-run not-for-profit called STAR Charities whose “mission is to vigilantly review community causes and subsequently provide assistance through education and donations.”

This 2020 Best of SW Lake Award is presented for:

  • Superior level of service over the years as owner of Threads Boutique.

  • Achievement in revitalizing Main Street Center in the heart of Wauconda.

  • Commitment to raising and distributing funds through STAR Charities, and many other volunteer activities representing decades of community service.


Avalon Salon/Spa, Deer Park & Crystal Lake


A cornerstone of Deer Park Town Center, Avalon Salon & Spa (AvalonDeerPark.com), is a 5,000-square-foot oasis of serenity. Named a Top 200 Salon by Salon Today magazine for a remarkable 15 consecutive years, owner Bonnie Conte knows that life is stressful. That is why her team of professionals have been, and always will be, committed to offering each guest a comfortable, serene environment in which they can relax and indulge their senses. Bonnie also coaches salon owners across the country to help them achieve the same level of success she has earned.

This 2020 Best of SW Lake Award is presented for:

  • Fifteen years of superior service, including charitable acts, to the community.

  • Demonstrating a willingness to take a risk to expand her business to a new community with the opening of a second salon in Crystal Lake.

  • Service to the community as a leader in the Lake Zurich Chamber and the salon industry nationally.

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