So, officially, I have graduated from CFI as of Feb 20th. CFI is a great program that the city of Chicago has put together to sponsor up and coming apparel designers in hopes that giving us a break will launch our businesses and careers. For 1 year, Kate Boggiano resided at Macy’s State Street store in downtown Chicago. It was a great experience, cheap rent, and unbelievable press and I’ll be forever grateful to the board members of CFI as well as the City of Chicago in believing in me and Kate Boggiano. Here are a few pictures of both the opening of CFI on March 10th 2008 with Mayor Daley and the closing ceremony on Feb 10th 2009. CFI, we’ll miss you!
**CFI designers in Chicago Magazine
**Me with Lindsay Boland owner of Habit Boutique, Chicago
Where did we move to you ask? The lovely neighborhood of Pilsen. Conveniently situated on the south side of downtown Chicago, Pilsen is an up and coming neighborhood filled with artists and small businesses trying to make it. The energy is great and I am in LOVE with our new space. The new home of Kate Boggiano is officially 2150 S. Canalport Ave. Suite #3A3, Chicago, IL 60608. The building is a brick and timber building that was constructed in 1900 and originally belonged to Vivano Macaroni company. We have beautiful exposed beams, interior brick walls, and views of downtown.
**View out my office window
**The holding pattern while we were waiting for some paint to dry-always fun and exciting!
**The new space
**A mess waiting to be organized!
**Marilyn setting up shop
Obviously, we still have some work to do, but I’m so excited for the final outcome-it’s going to be great. Invitations to our space warming party coming soon and check out Time Out’s coverage of Pilsen here to learn more about our new diggs: http://www.timeout.com/chicago/articles/features/71730/viva-pilsen
As if moving a business isn’t enough chaos for the time being, Geoff, my lovey dovey (haha), has left EGI (Equity Group International-Sam Zell’s private equity group-the one that bought the Chicago Tribune and the Cubs) and has come over to the dark side-now he really gets to see what us crazy entrepreneurs face everyday instead of advising us on things he’s never done-I’m pretty excited for him!
Geoff is the new Director of Finance for Argo Tea. Argo Tea is a fantastic Chicago chain (12 stores in the Chicagoland region and growing rapidly!) that sells specialty coffee and tea beverages. Similar to Starbucks, Argo Tea far exceeds the quality, service, and overall deliciousness of its main competitor. Need proof that something could possibly be better than Starbucks? Starbucks is very worried about Argo Tea…did you see the new national tea drinks they just rolled out? Talk about being high on Starbucks radar as the largest chain of successful tea companies-go ARGO TEA!
Arsen, the CEO of Argo Tea, requires that all his employees (even corporate execs like Geoff) go through barista training. Here’s my hot hubby this morning dressed up in his AWESOME Argo Tea barista uniform!
**Geoff in Argo Tea barista outfit**