Carol Levy is a woman with a clear vision and confident style. In a world overcrowded with mega stores, Carol has taken the necessary risks to thrive in the competitive retail space. Making a series of opportunistic moves in step with market trends, she has created thirty years of smashing success for Material Possessions. The secret behind the home decor store’s stream of loyal shoppers can be attributed to Carol’s steady leadership, affinity for function, as well as form, and her customer-centered approach.
Carol attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts until she transferred to and ultimately graduated from Northwestern University. After a successful career in commercial real estate, Carol decided to put her innate business instincts, sharpened by a wealth of life experiences, to a creative use. In 1983, she became Co-Owner of Material Possessions with Peggy Swartchild. With her clever combination of entrepreneurial spirit and imaginative thinking, Carol helped expand the store to a downtown Chicago location.
Carol’s achievements are also abundant outside the walls of Material Possessions. In 2004, she and her husband, Larry, founded the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. They took the venture a step further in 2007 and established the Carol and Larry Social Entrepreneurial Lab. Her contributions to the community continue with her work on the Board of Directors for the Marwen Foundation, the University of Chicago Hospitals, and her role as a Lifetime Trustee for the Francis W. Parker School. She sites one of the evidence of her success as the invitation to speak to art students at the Marwen foundation and at the apparel mart speaking to budding new artists.