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Chicago ladies Helen Tyler and Karen Hill-Krolow had a few things in mind when they dreamed up The Pocket Poppet. The women, who initially met in an antique-store-slash-coffee-shop, bonded over the need for a small, cozy wrap that could be toted around to restaurants or on airplanes (or really, anywhere with harsh air conditioning.) One caveat: the item should have a protective sleeve to keep it from getting ratty and worn.
Enter—you guessed it—the aforementioned Pocket Poppet. The accessory is manufactured in Ravenswood, and is an open-front cardigan that's designed to fold into its attached pocket. When you're done wearing the sweater, take it off, tuck it into its pocket, zip it up, and stow it almost anywhere (capiche?)
"We were not fashion designers, but two ordinary women that saw a need for a garment that a girl-on-the-go could throw in her bag or keep at work, or in the glove box," says Tyler.
After making a prototype from a cardigan, a shower curtain, and safety pins, Tyler and Hill-Krolow partnered up with Chicago-based fashion consultants V. Mora. Together, the team develops patterns, manages production, and purchases fabrics through Chicago Wholesale Fabric. (Yep, the Pocket Poppet has "Made in the USA" pride in every fiber of its sweater-y being.)
The resulting product, which retails for $99 a pop, comes in six colors including "sapphire blue" and "rich plum." There's also the "Lotus Poppet," which is made with gym-goers in mind and crafted out of a bamboo-rayon, cotton, and spandex blend.
So what's on tap for 2014? The women plan to introduce "Pretty Poppet" events, aimed at networking and introducing the product to the Chicago Marketplace. In the meantime, A list of retailers is available here.