Softness in Store at Kid's Clothing Retailer

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 13, 2004 | Go to article overview

Softness in Store at Kid's Clothing Retailer


Byline: Kim Mikus

Soft children's clothes are the heart of a new store at Woodfield Shopping Center.

Hanna Andersson, a company that started more than 20 years ago as a catalog company, recently opened at the Schaumburg mall on the lower level near Center Court. Oakbrook Center is the only other mall in the area to house the shop that features comfortable clothing for babies and children up to age 12.

The clothing features a Swedish-inspired look. Gun Denhart, a native of Sweden, is the founder of the company that now operates six outlet stores and nine regular stores, including at shopping center giant Mall of America in Minnesota.

Hanna Andersson, named after the founder's grandmother, was launched when Denhart couldn't find soft, high-quality cotton clothes for her son, Christian. Living on the East Cost at the time, she looked for clothes she grew up with in Sweden.

In the early 1980s Denhart and her husband, Tom, returned to his hometown of Porland, Ore., and started the mail-order catalog filled with private label clothes.

They were truly a kitchen table business for the first few years, the founder said on her Web site. She and her husband cut and pasted one-square-inch fabric samples into 75,000 catalogs. They used a spare room for an office and the garage for a warehouse.

The company has grown since the first catalog, adding an adult clothing line. The stores generally feature only the children's clothes. There are sibling sets and many outfits you can mix and match.

The owners say it's important that the clothes don't "itch" or "pinch" tender skin and that the colors remain bright even after many washings and lots of playtime. …

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