It's a Wrap! New company offers multi-purpose garments

Featured in Deerfield Review

For as long as she can remember, Jocelyn Weinzimmer has been wearing shawls, wraps or pashminas that she said would always slip off her shoulders.

“I asked if she had any ideas on designing a wrap that was comfortable, yet still fashionable, and that would stay in place,” said Weinzimmer, a former Deerfield resident who spent 22 years working as a personal trainer at Deerfield Multiplex.

It was this conversation that led the sisters to launch their new accessories company, ARMigami.

“Joan used her sewing skills to create buttons on my wrap, and as we began to play with button placement and different materials, we realized how many different ways we could transform one wrap into the perfect accessory,” said Weinzimmer, who now lives in Chicago. “We soon realized that we weren’t the only ones struggling with this problem, so why not be the solution?”

ARMigami, which was named after the Japanese art of origami sells one garment, but in 25 different fabrics: a wrap that can be worn 15 different ways.

“It can be a shawl, a scarf, a sleeve, a skirt, a bathing suit cover-up, and even a shirt,” said Pavalon, a stay at home mom who took up sewing several years ago as a creative hobby.

The two sisters shop for their diverse fabrics at showrooms in Chicago and Los Angeles.

“The fabrics are a seasonal mix of rich, bold colors and patterns with intricate details,” said Weinzimmer. “We also have everyday basics that include stripes, denims and ribbed knits for a timeless look no matter what time of year it is.”

“It really is a solution to wardrobe frustration,” said Pavalon, a graduate of Rio Grande College in Ohio. “You can take your basic black outfit, wear this over it and it changes the whole look. And that black dress that every woman has that she doesn’t want to wear over and over again — this makes that dress new.”

Marsha Brenner is the executive director of the Apparel Industry Board, an organization that educates design students and creates jobs in Chicago in the apparel industry. Weinzimmer and Pavalon sought her help while researching the industry prior to their launch.

“When they came to me a couple years ago I immediately was taken in by them for several reasons,” said Brenner, who helped found her organization in 1987. “They were passionate, they had a concept, a vision, and they were committed. It’s a great shawl that is attractive, usable and makes sense.”

ARMigami wraps, which are made in Chicago are available on the company’s website — They start at $64.

“I’ve always loved fashion,” Weinzimmer said. “A good accessory can completely change an outfit and make something that is otherwise ordinary beautiful.”

“This industry is a tough one to break into, but because of their commitment, the product itself, and their willingness to listen, to learn and to price it correctly, it has a place in the market, ” Brenner said. “It’s something different. That’s really the underlying factor.”