Made in Chicago: Unison - Modern Home Decor

December 28, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The home décor store Unison, 2000 W. Fulton, is tucked inside a warehouse building on the Near West Side. most of its modern design textile products, including placemats, tablecloths, napkins and pillows, are made in Chicago.

"We get the fabric printed on the East Coast. It comes into our warehouse and we inspect it, approve it, or reject it, and our sewer, Sergio, is locally here in Chicago," said Unison co-owner Robert Segal.

Segal says, in addition to creating and maintaining jobs in Chicago, local manufacturing eases quality control. His head sewer works just across the street.

"We can meet with him on a daily basis, and we can bring the fabric to him and show certain details that we want if it's a new pattern," said Segal.

Segal says he would like to see the team of sewers increase as well as his store staff, but that will only come with more sales.

"For us it's like, not that we don't have a good product, we just aren't out there enough," said Segal.

While most of Unison's sales have been made online, and at trade shows since the company started in 2006, those who interface directly with customers say most are pleasantly surprised to find several product lines are locally produced.

"If it's Chicago and we can say, 'Hey, this designer's studio is four blocks away,' then they think that's really neat and they feel good about supporting not a unique, independent store, but also an independent artist or designer," said sales manager Michelle Vondiziano.

Unison's home goods are available in 23 stores throughout the country and in Canada. You can also get them online.

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