Ditkas team up on children’s clothing line
Stacy Ditka organizes her clothing line, Ditka Kids Gridiron Clothing, at B. Friends in Deerfield Aug. 8. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Ditka Kids Gridiron Clothing
WHERE TO FIND IT: B. Friends, 720 Waukegan Road, Deerfield; Hip Hip Hooray, 840 Willow Road, Northbrook; La La Land, 129 N. Addison Ave., Elmhurst; Ditka’s Restaurant, 100 E. Chestnut St., Chicago and 2 Mid America Plaza, #100, Oakbrook Terrace; Cargo for Boys, 479 Central Ave., Highland Park; Fit to be Tied, 1741 Orchard Lane, Northfield; Red 21, 725 Village Center Drive, Burr Ridge.
CONTACT: (312) 480-1886, www.ditkakids.com
Updated: September 17, 2012 11:38AM
DEERFIELD — Stacy Ditka always wanted to develop a line of stylish, functional clothing for children. After leaving a job as a sales representative to raise her sons, she said the time was right to put her dream into action.
Last January, the Deerfield resident launched Ditka Kids Gridiron Clothing with her father-in-law, football Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka.
“It all just kind of fell into place and it’s going really well,” Stacy Ditka said. “We’re really looking forward to the holidays.”
Ditka said the clothing line, which includes short and long-sleeved T-shirts for kids and onesies for babies, is sold in boutiques around the Chicago area. The clothes are also available online and at Ditka restaurants in Oak Brook and downtown Chicago.
Ditka said she was inspired to start the football-themed line when, while shopping for her sons, she saw a need for high-quality, functional, affordable children’s clothing.
“I love to shop, and I love to shop for my kids,” she said. But she had trouble finding clothes she thought would appeal to her two young sons.
Ditka said her clothing line is designed to be attractive to moms and children because of the gridiron designs and the vintage feel.
“Anything football-related is gridiron,” she said. A slightly faded design gives the clothing a vintage feel, she explained.
“So far, I love everything about this,” Ditka said, adding that she and her father-in-law intend to expand the line to include accessories, such as caps and hats.
“We are currently in the works for a new collection,” she said.
Although the line is mainly boy’s clothes, there is one girl’s shirt.
“They’re selling just as well as the boys,” she said, adding that a surprising number of football fans — about 40 percent — are women.
“It’s so Chicago-oriented,” said Marci Much, owner of B. Friends boutique in Deerfield, which sells the line. “It’s really a no-brainer.”
Ditka said her company donates a portion of its proceeds to Misericordia in Chicago, which helps young people with developmental and physical disabilities.
Ditka said launching the line has been fun because she, as a mom, is the target for the product.
“When you’re the target, it’s pretty simple,” she said.
Ditka Kids Gridiron Clothing ranges in size from six months to early teens.
While she and her father-in-law hope to expand the business, Ditka said they are starting small, to avoid getting ahead of themselves. Ditka Kids Gridiron Clothing, available in boutiques in Highland Park, Northbrook and Northfield, features screen printed designs of footballs, helmets, players, and Mike Ditka’s number 89.
Stacy Ditka said she hopes the line will sell nationally.
“We’ve got lots of expectations,” she said. “We’re excited and we hope to make something big out of this.”