From Sweden and Places In-Between
Updated: October 23, 2012 11:58AM
HINSDALE —Fatboy, Toms and tube tops.
People who shop in downtown Hinsdale might recognize those as merchandise they might find in Stockholm Objects.
Two Swedish women first started Stockholm Objects, a store featuring Scandinavian clothing and accessories, eight years ago in Clarendon Hills.
The store moved twice during that time and its merchandise expanded, too.
At first, “it was strictly Scandinavian items and mostly home accessories,” said current owner Annette Brinkmeier. “It has developed into a lifestyle store, and more of a boutique with European flair.”
Brinkmeier bought the store, now in Hinsdale, in March when the original owners who were friends of hers wanted to sell.
“I’ve worked in retail my whole life,” said Brinkmeier, who lives in La Grange. “This is a dream come true, to have your own business.”
Products such as Fatboy beanbag chairs and Toms shoes — made by an American company which gives a pair of shoes to a poor child for every pair sold — have been standards at Stockholm Objects for years. Other items and apparel lines have been added to include designers from California, Canada and other parts of Europe.
Donna Barnholt of Hinsdale was in the shop Oct. 10 looking for clothes for a trip to South Carolina.
“They said the dress is resort casual,” Barnholt said, as she browsed through a rack of clothes.
Barnholt said several years ago, she bought a dress in Canada and thought, “Nobody will have a dress like this. Then I came in here and saw the same dress hanging right there,” she said, pointing to a spot in the shop.
At first she was disappointed, but then realized, “Great. I can come in here and get the same line of clothes.”
Brinkmeier said her customers come from through the area, and she’s noticed they are world travelers interested in other cultures and countries. And they go to unusual places, such as cruising the fjords in Sweden.
“We have a lot of European clientele, too,” Brinkmeier said. “I think this store reflects what they see over there.”
The clothing includes jeans, sweaters, scarves and dresses for the office or special occasions. The store also carries Boob nursing wear, fashionable tops and dresses for new mothers.
The selection for men consists consisting primarily of golf shirts by J. Lindeberg.
Brinkmeier looks for new styles, too, and brought back Ice wristwatches, colorful watches with dials around the clock face, from a trip home to Germany.
“They’re from Belgium, but I saw them everywhere,” Brinkmeier said. “I’m trying to bring in things that are trendy right now in Europe.”