AGE: 28. LIVES IN: Lakeview. CLAIM TO FAME: Founder and CEO of Holly & Tanager (Hollyandtanager.com), and VP of operations and marketing at Wasson Enterprise, an angel investment firm owned by her father, former Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson. PASSION PROJECT: After graduating from Purdue University, Lingle worked in sales and marketing for various brands within cosmetics giant Kao USA, but it was the Target account that gave her the idea for her own business. “I was traveling to the Minneapolis headquarters, and I realized there was not a fashionable and functional bag that I could travel with.” LEARNING THE ROPES: Though she was an expert in product analytics and off-shelf displays, Lingle had no design experience. “I went to trade shows to learn how to design a product,” she says. “From there, I began meeting with manufacturers and vendors to find partners that would help bring my first prototype to life.” In June 2016, Holly & Tanager — named for the intersection she grew up on in Long Grove — was born. THE LINE: Every handbag in the eight-piece collection — like The Champion wallet (which is big enough to hold your phone) and The Companion clutch (featuring a handle in the back and removable straps to create a crossbody) — is made with Italian leather and no-chip hardware. But it’s The Professional, a convertible backpack-tote with a lower compartment for shoes or an umbrella, a padded laptop sleeve and removable straps, that took Lingle two years to perfect. “Most [bags] are ‘black holes,’ so you’re constantly digging,” she says. “We made sure we could fit everything a working woman needs into one bag.” COMING UP: Lingle recently moved production from Portland, Oregon, to a manufacturing factory in South suburban Bedford Park, and plans to roll out a new collection in March 2018. There are a few holiday items in the mix now, too: The Commuter tote bag and travel pieces like a passport holder-meets-wallet and luggage tags, launched earlier this month.
Photo by Ramzi Dreessen