Fashion Garage is a new resale boutique located at 1115 Lamar St in the historic Gragg Motor Co. building. Owners and operators Connie Bennett and Janet Ehling, say they didn’t intend for this building to be what it is today. Connie said that it was intended to be used as a storage building. While in the process of cleaning and arranging things one day, Janet recalled, “The signs were there that this is what we were supposed to do.”
Janet and Connie have been a team for a little over two years, after doing a vintage fashion show together. Both say things just kind of “clicked” after that. Both are very different in their own style and even attitudes, but they come together to make quite the perfect match. With Connie more knowledgeable of vintage jewelry and accessories, and Janet more passionate in vintage clothes and shoes, they make up the Fashion Garage dream team. A team goal orientated into creating a “community of people who love fashion and care about buying seconds,” revealed Janet.
Thus, the Fashion Garage came into existence. After the eye-catching sign was finished (done by artist Rodger Whittaker), the doors were open, and they were ready to spread their love and positivity to the community through vintage ensembles. When asked why vintage specifically, Connie responded, “We want people to see that you can mix both vintage and new clothing. You don’t have to look the same and dress like everybody else. We’re finding that with a lot of our young clients, that’s what’s drawing them in. It’s the style.” When asked the same question, Janet responded, “Vintage, that’s just where my heart has always been. And I’m really excited to see a shift of when I was at the “old Alley Cat” (922 Indiana circa 2012-2014). I would sell a whole lot for Halloween. It used to make me sad that people were buying mostly vintage for Halloween because I knew it was going to get trashed, they were just doing it to be silly, and now I’m happy because Halloween is a non-thing. Our customers are different; they are these wonderful people who see the value and wonderfulness of wearing vintage every day.”
“It is very difficult to find and when you find very good vintage, it’s really good quality. There’s nothing else like it. I mean, the design the shape of it, the fabrics, everything about it is just great,” Connie added. “To me,” Janet brought up, “it’s about expressing yourself. And to me, you can’t express yourself as an individual by going and picking and buying your size on a rack of all the same thing. It doesn’t make sense to me and never has.”
Their passion for their work is inspirational, helping each and every client fulfill their vintage dreams. They speak of their clients as if they are all friends, and I’m sure it’s because it would be hard to not make friends with Connie and Janet. Their positive attitudes and loving nature create a wonderful shopping atmosphere one would definitely return to.
Their grand opening is still in the process, as they are currently working on expanding the garage to feature a wider men’s selection and more dressing rooms. They plan on having vintage markets coming this spring, so be on the lookout on their Facebook page @ Fashion Garage or Instagram @fashiongaragewf. They are open Tuesday through Saturday 10am-5pm. Happy shopping!