Body-positive boutique Fetch & Co. combats bullying with the Peace Project

When Julia Gramenz and Abbey Markiewitz started Fetch & Co. boutique in October 2017 in Markiewitz’ basement with just a couple of clothing racks and a fitting room, they had one mission in mind: To offer unique clothing in a range of sizes that would fit every woman.

“I think you can go to most big-box stores and find something, but to be able to find one-of-a-kind pieces, you need to visit a boutique,” explains Markiewitz. “We just recognize that all bodies are different and beautiful.”

Julia Gramenz and Abbey Markiewitz of Fetch & Co. boutiqueThe two women were working for LuLaRoe as independent fashion retailers back in 2017 when Gramenz approached Markiewitz about starting their own local boutique. Markiewitz at first said no, but in no time, the two were in business together.

“We took $5,000 of our own money, flew to Atlanta, and bought our first inventory,” Markiewitz recalls. It happened in less than a week.”

The team focused on empowering women through their boutique shopping experiences at Fetch. “We wanted women to be able to go shop with their friends and not worry about whether or not they'd be able to find something that fit them,” Markiewitz explains. “We want to be inclusive of all bodies. We want everyone to be able to find something that makes them feel confident and beautiful—whether they're a size 0 or a 3X. Most boutiques either [carry] size S-L or exclusively plus-size, and we wanted to be a destination for everyone.”

The line was so popular that Fetch & Co. moved into a 650-square-foot storefront at 15613 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood by February 2018. “We’ve grown so much, we’ve doubled our inventory,” shares Markiewitz.

The store recently underwent a renovation with new tiered racks and shelving units replacing two long racks along the wall. “It’s better to merchandise all the products,” she says. “You can actually see the pieces.”

Now Fetch & Co. is embarking on a new mission—aiming to combat bullying through the company’s Peace Project. This new line of T-shirts and dresses promotes peace and kindness in the community, with two dollars from every purchase benefiting a local nonprofit. (Shirts range from $23.50 to $28.99, while dresses cost up to $41.99.)

February’s designated nonprofit is the Dare2Care program of the Cleveland Leadership Center, a school-based anti-bullying program. Past charities include GiGi’s Playhouse in October, The Love Truck in November, and Dressember in December and January. “As a company dedicated to helping women feel confident, acceptance and inclusiveness are two of our core values,” says Markiewitz.

 

The shirts are made of a “bouncy, stretchy fabric” and emblazoned with phrases using the word “peace” on them, such as “Peace Be Kind,” “Bitch, Peace,” or “Peace Pass the Wine.” 

“It’s hard to find graphic tees once you get past [size] large—they look like something your dad used to wear," Markiewitz says. "These are T-shirts that will fit everybody.”

The shirts are made in the U.S. and printed in Rocky River by Stash Style.

Fetch releases two new styles each month, but will release four new styles in February as the Detroit storefront celebrates its one-year anniversary. The new styles will be revealed at a private party on Friday, February 8, followed by an open house at the store on Saturday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The first 20 customers who buy a Peace Project shirt at the open house will receive a free tote. Beverages by Mocina Coffee, cheesecake brownies bites by KB Confections, and mimosas will be served.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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