"The most important thing is that you love what you're doing, and the second is that you are
not afraid of where your next idea will lead" - Charles Eames
WHO WE ARE
At South Loop Loft we are treasure hunters, thrill seekers and design obsessed shop owners with a passion to bring the undiscovered and the not easily found to our design colleagues, home owners and city.
We are World Travelers
One month you may find us on a rickshaw in Chiang Mai Thailand heading to the Hmong fabric market. Another month you will find us diligently scouring for art in the Monastiraki flea market in Athens. Another month, having tea whilst sitting on a stack of tribal rugs with our friends in Marrakesh or diligently hunting for treasures in Addis Ababa Ethiopia under the light of a single bulb illuminating a collection houses in a shack made of corrugated metal.
We are Lifelong Learners
We travel, we search, we learn and we share. We are eagerly curious and always pursuing a deeper understanding of the makers, the crafts and the history behind our objects. We learned first hand about Kilim rugs while visiting the rug shops of the Badakshan provence of Northeastern Afghanistan. We've sought out talented ceramists and artists in Southern Italy and spent hours in studio visits, learning their stories and their crafts. We are constantly seeking to become connisiouers of our crafts and are passionate about educating our clients.
We are Dreamers
Dreamers of the unexplored, the unfound and the possibilities. We are realizers of the beautiful, the handmade, and the soulful objects that bring history and depth to an environment. Our philosophy is to never stop pursuing new ideas. We are constantly evolving as a result.
We are Artists
Buying and selling isn’t just commerce. We watch trends, predict trends, dismiss trends, listen, learn and observe our talented Design Community and then curate, collect and labor to find the BEST pieces to make your projects and homes sing. We imagine, we search, we purchase, ship, research, restore, photograph, market, style and deliver. Finding the good stuff isn't easy work but we wouldn't have it any other way.
We are Human Beings
We’ve been in the trenches as volunteers in Guatemala, China, Afghanistan, North Carolina, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota and most recently, Ethiopia. Our vision is much bigger than what resides on our showroom floor and your support goes to support meaningful missions. A proceed of all of our Sales go to support economic and community health opportunities for marginalized communities in Soddo Ethiopia as well as supporting and providing advocacy for children in Foster Care in Chicago.
Beth Berke founded South Loop Loft in 2014, but started her career as a Social Worker. Following the completion of her MA in Intercultural Studies and Community Development, she worked in Afghanistan as an Aid Worker until the political climate changed and she returned to the US.
Focused on Child Welfare and serving women in crisis for the next 5 years, Beth wore the many hats of a counselor, Adoption Coordinator, Child Welfare Advocate, Foster Care Case Worker and Adoption Reunion Specialist. Some of the most fulfilling work of her life happened during an intense 5 years in the field. Following a cross country move to San Francisco and the inevitable job hunting that came with it, Beth discovered a passion for finding unique furniture while learning her way around the West Coast.
A year later and another cross country move and Beth was furnishing a historic South Loop Loft apartment. Thanks to the power of Instagram, her keen eye quickly drew a following and with that, customers. Beth realized she had approached a pivotal moment in her career when she was offered a position with her former team and chose instead to start South Loop Loft and follow her passion for design and the decorative arts.
She has been traveling the world for over 16 years and 24 countries, which has shaped her aesthetic and the showroom collection.
"I developed a deep appreciation for textiles and rugs after shopping the markets of Afghanistan while living as an aid worker there in 2008. I fell in love with the colorful, handwoven textiles of Guatemala after visiting the cooperatives in the Mayan Highlands. My love for vintage art grew exceptionally after combing the flea markets of Barcelona. Traveling has taught me courage, has expanded my idea of beauty and has inspired me. These foundational pieces were key to my transition to entrepreneur” - Beth Berke
South Loop Loft grew quickly as we gained recognition and established partnerships with One Kings Lane and Chairish. Our website launched in 2015 as we opened our Chicago showroom in the West Town Design District. Beth’s keen eye for the decorative, unique and evocative combined with her passion for travel and culture result in a truly eclectic collection that has proved to become one of the Design Community’s most trusted resources in Chicago and Nationwide. Our current showroom is a two story retail space in the heart of Chicago’s River West neighborhood. It features a constantly evolving collection of furniture, decorative arts, rugs and textiles, lighting, accessories and local artwork.
For the past three years, Beth has spearheaded the purchasing, marketing, website development, restoration, photography and styling of the Chicago showroom. Her work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Luxe Interiors, Domino Magazine and more. She now leads South Loop Loft’s small but growing team into new and exciting adventures.
South Loop Loft has been featured in:
“The Best Home Decor Stores in the Midwest” by Architectural Digest, May 2017
“10 Chicago Shops You Don't Want To Miss," by Architectural Digest, May 2016
“13 Design Stores To Inspire You With Unique Home Decor Ideas”, International Roundup by Elle Decor
“The Beginners Guide To Buying Home Decor on Instagram”, Elle Decor, August 2017
“The Best Furniture Stores in Chicago,” Time Out Chicago, April 2017
“Date Book with Beth Berke” Luxe Interiors + Design, September 2016