Babes Behind The Brands

Abby alley The Brand Chicago


Abby Alley

Abby is an elementary school teacher turned entrepreneur when her life took an unexpected turn and she found herself teaching at a school in Tanzania. This experience led her to explore East African culture, learn about craft and fair trade, and opened up a desire to connect women in the US to this very meaningful part of her story. In 2016, Abby began working with artisans and testing the market with an online store and launched her own brand, Abby Alley, in November, 2018. 

The collections of jewelry and leather bags reflect the Abby founding principles of exceptional quality, timeless design, collaborative spirit, and authenticity. 

Starting this business was a leap of faith for Abby - one that required courage to step outside her comfort zone. It is her desire to inspire and encourage women who are seeking to live a life full of courage - daring to step out - even in the midst of uncertainty. 

Albany And Avers Chicago Boutiques


Amanda Failla Tjarks

Oh, hey! You're curious about who we are? Okay, sit down for story time. Albany and Avers came to fruition in late 2018. Owner, Amanda Tjarks sat on the idea for years while playing it safe in corporate America. In late 2018 Amanda began thinking about what it would look like to make her lifelong goal of owning a retail boutique a reality and what would go on into it. 


Albany and Avers sees the importance of reducing carbon footprint in the apparel industry. Given the alarming fact that the average American discards 81 pounds of clothing a year, that statistic is not only wasteful, but it’s also unsustainable long term. Fashion is cyclical and we continue to see trends coming full circle - and arguably sometimes better in the original form.

Those who enjoy following fashion trends can find joy in hunting to find that perfect garment that was popular decades ago, that is trendy right now and is still in its original form, while reducing our carbon footprint and saving our planet.

The name Albany and Avers stems from the journey of Amanda’s life in Chicago. Albany is the name of the street she first lived on in Chicago. Albany represents vintage, timeless, and reclaimed beauty. While Avers represents the latest street in which Amanda and her family reside. Avers is the more mature, modern, and trendy sister. Binding the two together cultivate a unique style that marries vintage, unique treasures with modern, trendy garments resulting in a unique, expressive style that can’t be found elsewhere.

Albany and Avers delivers fashion that is relatable and achievable to women at any price point. By selling vintage finds and working with vendors to supply new trends, this widens our demographic and serves the community in the way that brings unique fashion into the area with affordable price points for young adults in a large city.

Gabriella Daher Fashion Designer


Gabriella Daher

DAHER is a New York City-based slow fashion label devoted to ecological + social balance through ethical practices of fair labor, upcycling, and waste reduction. Sourcing all materials + labor locally means our products are guaranteed honest + green. We love animals and never use furs or skins.

Gabriella Daher, designer and founder, was born and raised in Brazil where she spent most of her childhood sewing, knitting, crocheting and rug-making with both her maternal + paternal grandmothers. She eventually made her way to San Francisco, CA, studying Fashion Design and graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2009. She launched DAHER label in 2010, making custom dresses from her San Francisco apartment using donated and scavenged textiles. In 2015 she moved to NYC, where she currently resides, and soon helped found and launch a new label, Larkin Hughes, alongside her long-time friend, Katherine Simon. She continues to design for DAHER and now manufactures her garments in the heart of New York City's Garment District using deadstock materials she sources from local factories, fashion houses and fabric recycling companies.

"From a very young age I was inspired by and impressed with the quality of my grandmothers' work. Today, I try to mimic their calm, precise process. Paying attention to every little detail, making sure my patterns are perfect and all seams line up.
While the piece is hanging in my atelier, I'm happy enough knowing it's my best work. There is no better feeling though, than seeing one of my designs being worn by a happy client. It's instant gratification seeing them smile, stand taller on the balls of their feet, and twirl in front of the mirror.
I am mindful of what I do to achieve what I want. I believe in fighting for ecological sanity and for animal and human rights. I pledge allegiance to uphold all that is good, and true, and fair." -Gabriella

 Deanna Hutchinson Jewelry Designer


Deanna Hutchinson 

My name is Deanna but I go by Dee. I’ve been obsessed with jewelry, accessories and fashion since I was young. I’ve always liked to try colorful bold and unique styles in clothing and jewelry! I had always dreamed of having a fashion line of my own one day but didn’t think it would ever be possible (time wise or creativity wise). I’ve worked in the beauty industry for the past 7 years so I’ve been able to use that as my creative outlet. During Covid I took the time I now had available to try out some new things including making some pressed flower earrings. I didn’t think anyone would like them but me but I sold out! Even though I’m not in it for the money it was fun to create something that people liked and I love seeing others wearing something I’ve created! Since it’s only my side business I can’t create as much as I would like but I look forward to continuing to put out more fun things in the future!

Havlan And West Chicago Boutique


Emily McKenney Happ

Havlan & West began as a brick & mortar in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood in 2015. Now we are online and popping up throughout the Chicagoland area! H&W was started by Emily McKenney Happ because she saw a need for easy-to-wear pieces that can be paired with items already in your closet for an affordable price.  

In 2019, Emily wanted to make this concept even easier and more accessible for the busy, on-the-go woman by creating FIT by Havlan & West.  FIT is personal styling delivered to your door and aims to FIT your style, life & budget!  We love to help women feel comfortable and beautiful in their everyday clothing.  Please contact us with any questions!

Krystal Burhenne Luxe Candle And Bath Co Owner


Krystal Burhenne

Hi! We’re Krystal and Mike. We grew up in the Midwest (Chicago and Cleveland). We unexpectedly got into home renovation. We renovated 2 homes in Cleveland area and liked to burn candles during Open Houses to create a sense of comfort and nostalgia. After spending a lot of money on candles that did not perform well, we sought to create our own that we were proud to share with everyone.

We ended up moving to Fort Worth, TX in 2018. We wanted to establish roots and incorporate something we loved that also helped give back to the community.

LUXE CANDLE + BATH CO. started in summer 2019 and is our chance to provide everyone with a luxe candle experience by offering premium coconut wax and elevated fragrances at affordable prices. Our wax is 90% made from coconuts and 10% soy wax made here in the USA. All ingredients are sourced in USA and are cruelty free. Conservation is important to us and we strive to source as many supplies locally as close or in Texas as possible.

We are excited to share our candles and bath products with you. We appreciate your business and support!

Sararose Krenger Stix and Roses Fashion Designer Chicago


Sararose Krenger

Down the rabbit hole I fell, and never turned back. With a love for all things fuzzy, green, and magical, I have always been inspired by the curious nature of Alice (Alice in Wonderland). I follow whimsy and magic wherever they lead, and create along the way. I have spent the past 12 years dedicated to ethical, vegan, and sustainable fashion design with my women's wear collection, Stix and Roses. In the past 7 years, I have added brand consulting, editorial styling for brands, as well as local brands | media personalities, and personal wardrobe consulting/closet editing to my portfolio. I have been able to use SARAROSE and Stix and Roses brands, including producing fashion events, that create awareness and raise funds, as a vehicle to support amazing organizations that are giving back across the globe. We continue to support Ocean Conservancy.

Sheila Patel The Life Bags Company Designer 


Sheila Patel

Sheila is a serial entrepreneur and experienced lawyer based in Chicago. After graduating with a Bachelors from Pepperdine University and JD from Depaul, she worked in the law practice industry and started a commercial real estate firm. 

She always knew she wanted to give back to the community where her parents are from in India, so she went to the Kellogg School of Management for an Executive MBA focused on non profit management, with plans to start a non profit. She soon realized that she could marry her expertise in business with her passion for giving, and launch a new business.

Children in her town were carrying plastic bags or sometimes no bags to school, so she started her giveback to focus on backpacks in order to give kids the tools they needed for school. Sheila goes back to India every year, and finds new ways to give back to her community and engage with the people we impact.