Sam Oliphant and her sister-in-law, Meg Oliphant, were brainstorming ways to balance a career with their family lives a year ago when they hit upon the idea for an online boutique and pop-up events.
The idea to get a storefront for The Local, which started selling locally Aug. 25 with the launch of shopthelocalboutique.com, was a ways in the future.
However, the future is now.
The duo will open a shop in the Lima Plank shopping center in the 14000 block of Lima Road near Huntertown after the first of the year. They planned to take possession of the storefront Nov. 30.
The two women, who are married to brothers, chose the site because they live in northwest Fort Wayne and saw a need there.
“There isn’t that much out this way for people to shop,” Meg Oliphant said.
They have a higher purpose than just fashion, though.
“We really want to help the community and young women,” said Sam Oliphant.
They want to help “young girls and women feel good in their skins,” Meg Oliphant said.
Part of their commitment is seen in the #PEB (hashtag Project Everybody Beautiful) green sweatshirt ($44) and mint no-pocket ($25) and black pocketed T-shirts ($29) that they sell.
Started by a hairstylist in Celina, Ohio, the project provides a program for women who have experienced abuse, addiction, and other unfortunate circumstances that culminates with a makeover. Half of the sales of the shirts goes back to the project.
The Oliphants also plan to help at the Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance Cinderella Dress Day, an annual spring event that gives female high school students free formal dresses and accessories so they can go to prom.
They named the business The Local because “We wanted the community feel,” Sam Oliphant said.
The public’s response has been so positive that they decided to move ahead with the storefront. However, they plan to continue their pop-ups, although they will add staff to their two-woman operation. They’re just not sure of how many yet. The storefront will also give them a chance to add more products.
Their customer base is ages 25-45, but age is just a number. Their 60-plus-year-old mother-in-law wears their pieces, said Meg Oliphant, who previously had an online clothing store that she closed because she was working full time, going to school and getting married in September.
“Any woman can have great style,” Sam Oliphant said. “…We have fun and flirty pieces … and a more sophisticated style.”
Right now, customers are liking oversized sweaters and those with color blocking as well as jumpsuits and accessories.
See their clothes at @shop.the.local on Facebook and Instagram and @shopthelocal on Pinterest and Snapchat.