By Brittany Wiley
BAPA Business Liaison
Born and raised in Beverly/Morgan Park, Claire Richards has been immersed in the community for her whole life. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs who own DiCola’s Seafood, Olivia’s Garden and Candace’s Antiques.
After receiving her MBA in marketing and social media in 2013, Richards started her own company, Amplify7. Since then, her immersion into the business community grew from her own family’s ventures to serving many other clients in the area such as Swanson’s Deli, Little Hoppers Play Café and Running Excels.
Richards has helped neighbors build websites and expand their brands, as well as fostered community awareness. And now she is ready to build and grow her own new business: Sprout & Berry, a children’s clothing brand.
“Sprout & Berry is an inclusive brand that features children from different races, ethnicities, genders and abilities,” Richards said. “I want children to relate to and identify our company in a loving manner.”
“We also give back each season to a charity,” she said. The company’s first release benefited the United Cerebral Palsy Seguin of Greater Chicago, a charitable not-for-profit agency serving individuals with disabilities in metropolitan Chicago.
Richard’s designs have an organic feel with exciting sparks of on-trend modernity.
You can tell that she is has taken a bit of risk and it pays off. The trends she incorporates, when paired with the natural fabrics, are subtle and translate well to children’s clothes.
To create the line, Richards bought patterns from Etsy and built original designs from there by adding extended collars, extra buttons, lace necklines and more. She works with “two great seamstresses in California who help turn concept into reality,” she said.
“My first release was successful and taught me that many boy moms are searching for a better brand. I will definitely be carrying more boys (and gender neutral) items in the future.”
Richards plans to extend her sizing and search for a retail space in Beverly/Morgan Park on 103rd Street or 99th & Walden Parkway. Until then, Sprout & Berry’s Fall Drop II is live on sproutandberry.com. Stay updated on Facebook at Sprout and Berry and on Instagram @sproutandberry.