We are so excited to introduce to you a true power duo! Stacey Bingaman and Jenny Ball are North Shore born and raised sisters and co-founders of Eco Tools AND their latest project EVERAND™! “We’re two sisters who really, really like being together and working together. The working together part is something we’ve done for two decades.” Stacey & Jenny are a force to be reckoned with as they mix their uber creative ideas and products with environmental and social causes! Way to go Stacey and Jenny!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
Stacey: We are from the North Shore and grew up in Northbrook, Il. We both attended the University of Colorado, returning back to Chicago shortly after college and lived in the city in our 20’s. When starting our families, we wanted to live in the suburbs and chose Evanston. We’ve both lived here for over 10 years and we love the community and the people we’ve met here!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Jenny: We have some overlap which we love! Stacey has 2 boys that are 7 and 10, and I have a 9 year old son and a 12 year old daughter. We only live a couple of blocks from each other, so our kids are great friends and spend lots of time together.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Stacey: We both love to go to antique fairs, and I often tell my kids I am a treasure hunter! We wake up at a ridiculous hour on the weekends to drive to flea markets in other states. One that we go to at least five times a year is Elkhorn Antique Flea Market in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. We never know exactly what we’re on the hunt for, but we always come home with a car full of amazing finds that we’ve incorporated into our homes over the years.
Favorite mom hack?
Stacey: I am sure many moms can relate to the struggle of “what to eat” for dinner every night. For the last two winters we’ve been a part of a wonderful tradition that has greatly helped with this struggle! Once a week a small group of moms gather and cook dinner for each other. We deliver it when we are out running carpools in the evening. It’s such a treat to have something delicious dropped off at your door! Everyone in the group is flexible, so it works perfectly and feels extra special to have during the long winter months.
Favorite place to take the kids?
Jenny: The Beach! Evanston is a great Chicago beach town and it’s something we both love to do with our families. Swimming, paddle boarding, sailing or even just riding your bike along the lakefront always reminds us why we chose to live here. Summer days are spent in the water and nights on the beach with friends. We frequent Lighthouse Beach here in Evanston (Central St. at Sheridan Rd. (2611 Sheridan Rd.). It is open to the public but you need to buy a daily pass if you don’t have a season pass and it is $8 for adults and $6 for kids. The kids run around playing; we order pizza from Gigio’s in Evanston for dinner and relax until it gets dark.
Stacey: We grew up going to Sarkis Cafe in Evanston. Like many kids that grew up on the North Shore, it was very much the place to go, not only for its delicious breakfast, but the owner (Sarkis!) made every kid feel special and welcome when they walked through the door. We now live just a few blocks from the restaurant and still get a craving for the delicious Loretta sandwiches served there.
Go-to costmetic “tired eraser”?
Jenny: Sleep… which it seems is hard to ever get enough of! We’ve been working in the beauty industry for most of our adult lives, so it feels like we have tried almost every beauty product around. As the founders of EcoTools makeup brushes, we are big believers that true beauty comes from within… but it also helps to have a good concealer and the right brush! Our go-to favorites are YSL Touche Eclat pens paired with Ecotools’ Concealer Brushes.
Favorite family movie?
Stacey: My family loves all the old baseball movies and we have pretty much seen them all, but I think Sandlot is our family favorite and one we keep coming back to.
Jenny: Ditto for us on the sports movies. We’ve watched Miracle, the movie about the 1980 USA Men’s ice hockey team, more times than I can count! I still cry every time.
Favorite book for you?
Jenny: Favorite is a tough one, but I just read Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming and loved it. She is such a beautiful role model for women and her candidness in the book was so refreshing.
Favorite Children’s book?
Stacey: My kids loved If I Built A House and If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen. The stories take you on a journey as an 8 year old designs his dream house/car with every outrageous thing you can imagine inside. They are silly and creative, and great for kids with big imaginations.
A perfect day with the family is….
Jenny: Some of our best family days are when we’ve headed into the city as a family to enjoy all that it has to offer. Blackhawks games, Maggie Daley Park, Navy Pier, new restaurants, festivals, shows, museums… the list goes on!
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Our parents have always been our biggest cheerleaders, supporting everything we’ve done along the way. Now, it’s amazing to see them as incredible grandparents who love to spend time with our kids. We also have awesome husbands who are two of our greatest fans. They both work in education and have summers off which is a parenthood blessing! Our kids get lots of dad time, and we love having them around the house more.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Stacey: Yes! Jenny and I have been working together for over a decade and last fall we launched the brand EVERAND™. EVERAND is a collection pillows, decorative home accents, and accessories featuring artisan-made textiles that are all sewn by refugee women in Chicago working to gain meaningful employment. We have an online shop, attend local markets and host pop-up events. Check out www.shopeverand.com to see more!
We’ve always believed that you have to do good to feel good. It’s what has been at the heart of every endeavor we’ve been on together. We love so many of the brands now that are designed for social good. We all have a choice on where we spend our money and it’s inspiring to support businesses where you can purchase with a purpose. It’s what inspired us to start our new business, EVERAND.
We absolutely love how you have combined your creative spirit with social initiatives! How did you decide to form your latest company, EVERAND?
Thanks to a mash-up of our Instagram habits and remodeling projects, we had a good idea of what was out there in terms of artisan-made goods for the home. As we scrolled through pictures, the product-developer parts of our brains would switch on. One day Stacey got an email from RefugeeOne, a Chicago-based organization that helps refugees who are fleeing war, terror, and persecution settle into their new lives. The email was publicizing its new Sewing Studio, which gives refugee women a chance to develop a marketable skill and a potential way of earning income from home. Bingo! EVERAND was born and the mission was clear: To take the artisan-made fabrics and commission refugee women to sew all our products and earn a living wage while doing it. These products tell a story and we hope our collections inspire you to continue to tell your story through your home, for EVERAND ever.
What’s on the horizon with EVERAND?
Since the launch of EVERAND, we’ve been busy getting our new business up and running! We’ll be at Show of Hands, April 26-28th at Artifact Events in Chicago and then at West Elm Skokie on May 5th. We hope you’ll join us!
Connect with Stacey and Jenny!