Suzy Kogen Friedman

Partner and Co-Founder, Soft Clothing
Northbrook

As the founder of her own real estate and construction company, KZF Development, Suzy Kogen Friedman was no stranger to entrepreneurialism.

So when her nephew, who was diagnosed with autism at age three, showed acute sensory issues with his clothes and toys, she used her business savvy to find a solution.

“Everything bothers him, from tags to seams,” says Suzy. “His therapists said these issues were common.”

When Suzy discovered that there weren’t many clothing options available for kids with these sensitivities, she started her own line. In 2008 she partnered with Jessica Ralli, a teacher seeking similar products for her students, and Soft Clothing was born.

Besides sourcing the softest cottons, their garments feature printed labels and flat seams for a smoother feel against the skin. Wider shirt collars alleviate discomfort and pulling at the neck, and elastic waistbands are encased in baby French terry. Instead of using zippers or buttons, Soft digitally prints on fabric to achieve fun, stylish pieces.

Suzy’s family gave her a strong work ethic and the desire to give back. The company donates clothing and money to multiple programs that help children with developmental delays.

“People come up with ideas because it’s something they or someone they love needs,” Suzy says. “Because of my nephew’s struggle, I was determined to find something to help him.”