Jenna Wojtil, 18
The Christkindlmarket vendor brushes up on her German.
What’s up? It’s my very first day working the ornament shop at the Christkindlmarket, Käthe Wohlfahrt. Tomorrow’s opening day, so we’re getting set up. I’m still learning the product line, but all the ornaments are handmade in Germany.
Are you from Deutschland? No! [Laughs] I grew up in Norwood Park on the Northwest Side. I’m kind of a mutt, but my family is part German.
Oh, I thought the market employed only Germans to keep it authentic. It is a German company and a lot of German people do work here for the season. They bring the actual Christkindlmarket over in miniature form. I took German in high school, so I feel somewhat prepared for the job. [Laughs] Right now I’m on break from college, and my mom was all like, “You’re not going to sit on your butt for the whole vacation.” So this is an ideal job: easy, lots of hours—and I actually like Christmas.
And all the free brats you can handle. Yeah, yeah! I love the potato pancakes, so I’m pretty excited.
Where do you go to school? SCAD—the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. I’m studying fashion design. Lately, I’ve been really into androgynous stuff, so I want to work with both menswear and womenswear, and see how I can merge the two. When I went to public high school out of Catholic grade school, I took advantage of not having to wear a uniform and went through some funny fashion phases: I was a preppy, then I was scene.
“Scene”? Teased black hair, skater shoes and weird PacSun stuff. You’ve never heard of scene?!