Chicago-Based Citizen Made Software Helps Local Retailers Offer Customized Products

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Chicago’s locally-owned small-sized retailers now have an affordable platform to sell personalized products. By Sandra Guy (Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times)

Chicago tech entrepreneur Rachel A. Brooks honed her customization-software idea in a reality-TV-like setting: In a tech incubator challenge, she lived in a house in San Francisco for three months with six other would-be tech superstars, sharing ideas, networking and sizing each other up in close contact.

Brooks seeks nothing less than upending the way customers buy and retailers sell customized, made-to-order products — from clothes to furniture to beer. Brooks, 25, and software engineer Bryn McCoy, 36, co-founded Citizen Made in the Ravenswood neighborhood last fall to provide Chicago’s locally owned and small-sized retailers an affordable platform from which to sell personalized products — not just so customers can pick a certain color, for example, but so they can fully design the product they want.

Such a platform would revolutionize retailing in two ways: Letting small, independent shops gain access to what are now multi-million-dollar “customizer” machines that let sneaker buyers fashion their own shoes, and enable shoppers to fashion just about anything they want for competitive prices.

» Read the full article at Sun Times. Photo credit: Richard A. Chapman ~ Sun-Times