Local leather brand JGEREN, a young company that pulls inspiration from its Chicago roots, has opened a studio and appointment-only showroom in Lincoln Park.
"Local" is the key word here – the brand's founders, Jen Gerenraich and Lori Wallis, work with a factory in Cicero to hand make their current line of handbags, all named after Chicago streets: The Astor ($795), The Cedar ($495), The Hudson ($1,395) and The Sheridan ($1,295). They plan to keep production in Chicago as they grow, providing jobs to local craftspeople rather than outsourcing.
In the new studio space, hides of leather hang along the back wall and tables are filled with leather samples for shoppers to touch. Gerenraich and Wallis source an English bridle leather and tornado glove leather for their bags, meticulously finished to bring out the perfect amount of luster.
While JGEREN steadily gains a following for its luxury handbags, the founders are working on new styles, including a line of belts and cuffs, to be released for spring. Not limiting themselves to women's accessories, Gerenraich and Wallis have a men's line on the horizon and will debut a line of leather outerwear next year.
JGEREN, 1440 N. Kingsbury, Suite 120. For appointments: 888-609-2421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.