I had chatted with Emily while I shopped in her store, One Strange Bird located at 2124 W. Division Street in Wicker Park, a few times over the years and just found her to be such a fun and interesting person – little did I know how interesting her back story would be! She has such a spontaneous, adventurous, and entrepreneurial spirit that I really admire. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about her time in Africa through to coming back to Chicago to take over One Strange Bird. Her “figure it out” spirit certainly helped her over the last year in navigating staying afloat during the pandemic and came up with several creative ideas to keep the business running. I hope you’ll enjoy her story as much as I did!

In Emily Gloekler’s interview we discuss:

  • Her entrepreneurial journey starting with her kid’s clothing line Kipepeo while she was in Africa
  • How she ended up living and working in Africa
  • Starting a jewelry line and custom women’s dress shop alongside Kipepeo in Tanzania
  • The political changes in Tanzania that brought her back to Chicago
  • Selling her jewelry to gift shops in Chicago, including One Strange Bird
  • Taking over One Strange Bird in 2018
  • Pivoting because of the pandemic: online store, craft kits for kids, and outdoor kids classes

Emily’s Nominations

One Strange Bird
2124 W. Division St
Chicago, IL 60622