In Visit Champaign County’s downtown Champaign Welcome Center, residents and visitors will now find a new retail space to shop locally-made t-shirts, totes, and prints. Additionally local makers will rotate through the space, providing an additional opportunity for the public to discover the talented artists in the community. Currently, the shop features Pipapo, the Wright Soapery, and soon, Piper Pottery.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer a storefront to the many people that pass through downtown Champaign,” says Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement for Visit Champaign County. “Since launching the store, we’ve had many new people stop in to pick up merchandise, and also discovering the many resources we have to explore the greater Champaign County area.”
The retail space was designed by Norden German Design Studio of Urbana to fit the unique space within the Welcome Center. Featuring custom pieces like an Illinois-shaped table with a heart over Champaign County, the store itself is completely hand-crafted.
Currently, the shop features the Chambana Proud gear initially launched in 2019. A joint collaboration with Visit Champaign County, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, and You’re Welcome CU, ChambanaProud.com was launched to bolster pride among residents of the area.
The tees focus on Champaign-Urbana t-shirts providing a highly visible outlet for sharing what makes this community special. The t-shirts were designed by local artists in a collaboration with 40 North | 88 West, the Champaign County Arts Council. Artists include: Scott Barber (Scobar); Ralph Roether; Madelyn Witruk; and David Michael Moore. Among the designs available: “We Made the Internet” and “Thumbs Up” by Ralph Roether; “We’re Super Sweet” and “Whipped Cream”, by Scott Barber aka Scobar; “Heart CU” and “#chambana” by Madeyln Witruk, and “Outside of Ordinary” and “CU Map” by David Michael Moore.
“Be on the lookout for launch of additional designs coming soon,” adds Reifsteck. “The new designs will be on tees, sweatshirts, hats, and stickers, with even more ways to share your community pride.”
The store is open during Welcome Center hours, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The store is also available online at ChambanaProud.com with a choice of shipping or free pickup.
For more information, visit ChambanaProud.com or contact Terri Reifsteck at Visit Champaign County at 217-351-4133.