RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

Byline: Rebecca Kleinman

Julie Schmitz, owner, Gotta Have It, Dubuque, Iowa
Where she shops: “Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.”
Secret finds at Chicago Apparel Center: “Loose Threads separates and Lynn Ritchie’s T-shirts.”
Tried-and-true lines: “Ann Trinity novelty sweaters, dresses and sportswear. Surya and its Faith division. I like Carol Anderson separates and dresses because they cover a variety of age groups, and they always have a fresh look at good prices. Amore cotton sweaters are lightweight, so they’re good for transitional periods. They’re also washable and come in nice colors. Cynthia Max sportswear does good bodies that fit lots of sizes. T-shirts from Blueprint and Ann Trinity.”
Current bestsellers: “Crystal beaded necklaces and bracelets, sterling silver, delicate jewelry, and chunkier jewelry, too, like Barse & Co.’s turquoise pendant on a short chain. Capris, in cropped, wider and fitted versions. I think older women especially like them because they aren’t interested in wearing shorts anymore. Three-quarter sleeves, Hobo bags and stretch twill bottoms from Mondo.”
Favorite showrooms: “Lee Roski, RJC Enterprises, Nancy Milgrim, K.D. Spring and Lois Mikos and Liz Doyle’s showroom.”
Biggest challenge at the Center: “I wish there was more of a selection. I also liked it better when they had booths instead of showrooms, because then I felt like I wouldn’t miss anything. You could just start at one end and go up and down. I also wish they would offer shuttles from more than one hotel.”
June market agenda: “I’ve already written a lot of my outerwear, so I’ll look for sportswear, novelty sweaters, fall accessories and cocktail dresses. I’ll also check out what’s coming for holiday.”