Lilla Barn Clothing opens in Andersonville, where colorful items are handcrafted on site | Popgen Tech
ANDERSONVILLE — For more than 10 years, Bergen Anderson has run her apparel company, manufacturing and everything else, from her home in Chicago.
Outgrowing their home studio, Anderson’s Lilla Barn Clothing has opened a shop and production studio on Clark Street in Andersonville, where clothes are made just feet from the point of sale.
The new Lilla Barn Clothing store opened Saturday for a small business in late November at 5535 N. Clark St. The store features Swedish-style Lilla Barn clothing for children and adults, as well as other locally made clothing, decor and gifts.
Behind the retail area is the Lilla Barn studio, where Anderson works to make the brand’s clothing. Anderson said it’s the latest evolution of a brand that values things that are local and thoughtfully made.
“It made sense to get my studio out of the house,” she said. “It’s nice to have a space that belongs to me. It seems like the right move.”
Lilla Barn was founded in 2011 when Anderson was pregnant with her first child. Unable to find the baby clothes she was looking for, Anderson decided to start making them herself.
She began selling her clothing line on Etsy before branching out to other e-commerce platforms and craft fairs. Lilla Barn later expanded into adult clothing.
The brand is inspired by Nordic design, as Andersson has Swedish roots and lived in Sweden. His clothing includes bright colors and bold patterns that should be worn during play or physical activity. Lilla Barn means “little baby” in Swedish.
Lilla Barn makes clothes for newborns up to 5 years old, as well as things for adults. Both children’s and adult lines are gender neutral.
The emphasis is on sustainability, another tenant of Nordic design. Anderson said the clothes are made to resist wear and tear so they can be passed down as heirlooms. Lilla Barn also strives to use every scrap of fabric it receives. Fabrics left over from clothing production end up being used in items such as purses, hair ties, and headbands.
Lilla Barn sells similar businesses, including Earth Cadets, which sells pillows and other goods, including eco-friendly sweatshirts. It sells necklaces made by Gunner & Lux, a brand founded by a local father-daughter team.
“I want to support other brands that work in a similar way and fit our product,” Anderson said.
Anderson plans to use her production studio as an incubator for other artists and as a community area for workshops that will include how to create new products from old objects, she said.
The store already has its first resident artist: Andria Green. Her eponymous brand produces prints, bags and other gifts, which are now produced and sold in the Lilla Barn store.
Anderson, who lives with her family in Rogers Park, has been looking around town for a new store and production space. It made sense to locate in Andersenville, which was once the center of Swedish business and culture and where Andersen lived for 10 years.
“It’s good to be back,” Anderson said. “My adrenaline hasn’t turned off since the opening.”
Lilla Barn is open 1pm to 5pm Thursday to Friday and 11am to 4pm Saturday to Sunday. To learn more about the business, click here.
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