While nurses on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus on the North Shore are getting less sleep these days, they’re sleeping better due to the efforts of Larisa Olson and her lingerie store, Chantilly Lace, in Wilmette. The store, known for its custom bra fitting services, also sells sleepwear and other comfort clothing for women.
“I have a couple of nurse friends and I preemptively sent them a gift, and one said she’d like to buy a gift for another nurse,” Olson recounts. “A very frugal friend of mine said she wanted to sponsor a nurse and I got the idea for the Comfort Project.”
The Chantilly Lace Comfort Project provides soft pajamas and other comfort clothing items for nurses at North Shore hospitals that are treating patients who have tested positive for Covid-19. The project has given more than 350 gift bags to date to hospitals in Chicago, Evanston, and Glenview.
Chantilly Lace customers sponsor a nurse through a $50 gift and Olson puts together a gift bag of sleepwear, lounge pants, socks, or night shirts valued anywhere between $65 and $150. Every gift is personalized with the sponsor’s first name, last initial, and city of residence.
Olson notes that she’s observed an amazing collegiality among health care workers and hospitals on the North Shore as she’s grown the Comfort Project.
“I brought a batch of gift bags to one hospital and they told me to take them to Glenbrook because they were having a harder time,” Olson says. “Hospital administrators are sending gifts to each other.”
Chantilly Lace, located at the Plaza del Lago shopping mall in Wilmette, has served the community for 25 years. and Olson bought the shop 4 ½ years ago. The shop has rapidly grown from sales of $150,000 the first year Olson owned it to more than $1 million last year. Even through the uncertain times of the coronavirus pandemic, Olson remains optimistic.
“Despite the fact that I’m only brick–and– mortar, my numbers keep climbing and getting better,” she says.
Those interested in sponsoring a nurse can text or call Larisa Olson at 773-793-6517 or visit c-lace.com.