2015 Annual Awards Finalists

Persimmon, an exotic fruit and as of late, a commercial foray, is providing Wilmette residents with artistic choices in retail, painting parties and classes. An exotic espresso bar featuring homemade baklava and an abundance of lively conversation round out the experience.

The owner, designer and educator is no newcomer to the North Shore. Pamela Matiosian has lived on the North Shore for the past 27 years. While living in Wilmette, she owned Urban Totem in North Evanston. This iconic designers’ resource of 5,000 square feet drew a clientele from Chicago to Lake Bluff. After 12 successful years, Matiosian closed her doors to move closer to her family in Santa Barbara. Travels to Cuba, Sicily and most recently Istanbul, helped inform her decision to return to the North Shore and open a new business.

This time Pamela chose to create a business closer to her roots as a fine artist, art therapist, and traveler. Her background includes an undergraduate degree in painting from the Art Institute, an MFA from New York University and Venice, Italy, an internship in Kimono painting in Kyoto, Japan and a second Master’s degree in art therapy from the Art Institute.
“I really felt it was time to put it all together in one package. My time living in Venice and creating art in a beautiful supportive environment has always fueled my desire to travel to exotic destinations. Sitting in cafes in Europe, where a cup of espresso and lively conversation could occupy you for hours is something I have always missed at home. Although Urban Totem was an antique emporium, I always made sure my customers could enjoy a cup of tea as they traveled through the store and enjoyed the ambiance. From the time I walked into 1167 Wilmette Avenue, the wonderful sun-filled corner filled me with fantasies of converting it with exotic treasures, an artistic vibe and a beautiful espresso bar. Since opening in November, Persimmon’s dominant comment from neighborhood residents has been the same ‘We really needed this here.’ Nothing could make me happier than providing my vision to an incredibly receptive audience. And it will only get better.” Pamela Matiosian, Owner