Libertyville entrepreneur puts fashion on wheels

  • Gina Crater-Lilja

    Gina Crater-Lilja

  • Fashion in Motion truck, a women's clothing boutique on wheels.

    Fashion in Motion truck, a women's clothing boutique on wheels.

  • Doug Cook

    Doug Cook

  • Steve and Laura Kovarik

    Steve and Laura Kovarik

  • Gerard van Grinsven

    Gerard van Grinsven

  • Shawn Greenwald

    Shawn Greenwald

  • Brett Hintz

    Brett Hintz

  • John Sassaris

    John Sassaris

  • Robert Hallberg

    Robert Hallberg

  • Eric Thiegs

    Eric Thiegs

  • Brian Nagle

    Brian Nagle

  • Jerrod Wigal

    Jerrod Wigal

  • Stephen Dennison

    Stephen Dennison


When a friend gave Gina Crater-Lilja a sweater as a gift, she asked where the friend bought it. Off a truck, the woman said.

That's hardly the answer Crater-Lilja expected. But she loved the sweater and looked into a growing trend on the West Coast that offers fashion stores on wheels.

That's where Crater-Lilja got the idea to create Fashion in Motion in Lake County a couple of months ago. She partnered with Dominic Balbi of Buffalo Grove, obtained a former bread truck and converted it into a high-end women's fashion boutique.

"When you come home from work, a lot of women don't have time to shop," she said. "So to fill that need for women who love the opportunity to get stylish clothes from a boutique, and do it on a lunch break, we decided to do this."

Fashion in Motion can be used for private parties or be found parked at area businesses or events, including Bodyworks Fitness and Health Spa in Libertyville on Saturdays and the Libertyville Farmers Market on Thursdays, among other locations. Interested shoppers can see the schedule at

"We only get six to eight pieces of one style. So when it's gone, it's gone," she said.

The truck has the look and feel of a boutique with hardwood floors, crown molding, a dresser with a lamp, a small dressing room and other touches. It's targeted for women 35 and older, she said.

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Crater-Lilja, an Ohio native, came to the Chicago area about 20 years ago for a sales and marketing job. She moved to Libertyville about 15 years ago. A fitness buff, she enjoys working out and doing various fundraisers for animal shelters or other good causes, she said.

She also enjoys driving the Fashion in Motion truck.

"It's hard to drive, so I had to learn to use the mirrors," she laughed.

She also had to anchor everything inside the truck, so it would maintain a neat and orderly look, just in case she had to make a quick stop.

"I had to learn a lot," she said. "You also have to be creative, but it also has been a lot of fun."

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Facelift for Naperville homeowners

Naperville residents Steve and Laura Kovarik won the grand prize in the Hardie Home Outdoor Living Sweepstakes, an exterior home makeover valued at up to $30,000. Those on hand to present the award included Naperville Mayor George Pradel and Dave Donofrio of Naperville, the director of products and segments for James Hardie Building Products. The Chicago company plans to use James Hardie products to completely add new siding,


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Cynthia Cogil of Wilmette has been promoted from senior mechanical engineer to director of engineering at SmithGroupJJR, an architecture, engineering and planning firm in Chicago. ... Corwin Freeman Jr. of Elgin has qualified for the exclusive Top of the Table of the Million Dollar Round Table, an association of financial professionals in Park Ridge. He's a 31-year member of the organization and a two-time Top of the Table qualifier, which involves excellent client service, ethics and professionalism.

• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.


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