You could say ChiGirl Creative began when sisters Laura Fernandez & Kara Hofsaes could pick up a pencil. The arts have always been in their blood. Both sisters, blessed with awesome art teachers, won many awards throughout elementary, high school and college for their artistic talents which not only include fine arts and graphic design, but also theatre arts, choreography and competitive cheerleading/coaching. Fulfilling their creative juices has always made them happiest!!
In the early 90’s, Laura started in the computer graphics industry as the Mac emerged. Inspired by what her big sister was doing, Kara followed right in Laura’s footsteps. Once the computer graphic industry took off, the sisters started designing anything and everything they could… flyers, brochures, newsletters, ads, business cards, holiday cards, party invitations, etc. Encouraged by their family and friends, Laura & Kara always talked about turning their creative talents into a business.
After two trial runs with their best friends’ weddings, ChiGirl took a direct turn and focus towards the wedding industry when Laura got engaged, and the pressure mounted for the sisters to design her invitation. They took on their first full-blown wedding invitation suite accompanied with table signs, escort cards, programs, favor tags, and thank you cards… in two languages!! A few cousin invitations later, and word slowly spread as did their work.
As business began to pick up more rapidly, they realized it was time to make an official go of it… enter oldest, yet tiniest sister at 4’11”, Claire Meese, to whip these ChiGirls into shape!! Although cheerleading also runs through her veins, it was Claire’s financial expertise that turned ChiGirl from a ‘hobby’ into an LLC. It’s also her ‘just decide’ attitude that keeps Laura & Kara from spending hours upon hours choosing between a 40 and 43% shade of gray… A perfect balance.
Kara lived in Chicago right off of the infamous Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park. She fell in love with the boutiques she passed daily and dreamt she and her sisters would some day open one to be the home of their invitation business. Kara has a special bond with the city of Chicago and wanted to take a piece of it home as she relocated back to the east coast.