A selection of home décor from Smiley’s Joy.

Female founded and led businesses are growing exponentially around the globe, a trend that also holds true for Fort Wayne. The Summit City boasts a burgeoning list of brands and boutiques owned by women, and these destinations have helped take the city to the next level, bringing more variety and dimension, as well as opportunity, to the local landscape. Get to know these female led companies, then support them by shopping Fort Wayne’s indie and local retail scene.

Chic the Boutique: Fashion merchandiser Lauren Lamping founded her women’s clothing boutique from her house via Facebook group in 2019, opening her brick and mortar to the public in the fall of 2020. Offering fashion forward clothing staples at a range of price points, including cocktail dresses and outerwear, as well as accessories, the shop’s best sellers include denim by Flying Monkey, sweaters by Liverpool and band T shirts by Daydreamer. The welcoming shop also features a signature and popular selfie spot: a tufted queen’s throne in front of a wall of fashion magazine pages. 9908 Illinois Road, 260.444.3726, chictheboutique.com

Couture Cottage: Located within Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center, Couture Cottage offers limited runs of casual clothing, accessories and shoes. From work attire to weekend wear and lounge clothing, owner Lori Eddy aims to provide shoppers with affordable options. Shoppers will find breezy kimonos and skirts, denim and comfy sweaters and T-shirts, and small accessories and jewelry. 4220 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.246.1319, shopcouturecottage.com

Creative Women of the World: This downtown spot is not just a retail store, but a non-profit organization that helps lift female artisans and makers from all over the world out of poverty. CWOW’s mission is “to equip women with entrepreneurial resources to develop sustainable businesses through the power of their own creativity.” The store sells handmade goods across a multitude of categories, from home goods and paper gifts to women’s accessories and children’s toys. Purchases made at CWOW directly benefit the local economy as well as emerging, international markets. 125 W. Wayne Street, 260.267.9048, gocwow.org

Duchess J Boutique: Owned by Jacqueline Irby, Duchess J offers unique clothing and accessories in straight sizes, as well as curvy. The collections include denim, T shirts and sweaters, bodysuits and jumpsuits, and matching sets both for lounging or clubbing. The Duchess J client embraces bold styles, colors and patterns, and the store’s lively assortment of shoes include heels, boots and booties with fun and flair. Duchess J is open by private appointment only. 2304 Calhoun Street, 260.498.9214, duchessjboutique.com

Fancy & Staple: Known for amusing, cheeky and lighthearted merch, Fancy & Staple has become a popular downtown spot for gifts, home decor, houseplants, art prints and much more. Owner Taber Olinger fills her bright and airy spot on Broadway with unique pieces for women, men and children, growing the colorful kids department into another retail concept, Hopscotch House, opening soon just down the street. In addition to Fancy’s retail operations, the store has hosted many intriguing events like art openings, workshops and concerts. 1111 Broadway, 260.422.2710, shopfancyandstaplefw.com

Fearless Cook: Le Cordon Bleu trained chef and longtime owner of La Dolce Vita, Laura Tanner Wilson reimagined and relocated her popular business into Fearless Cook, “a gourmet cooking school and boutique with the finest home and kitchen products.” With the highest quality cookware and implements, as well as tasteful accents and superior pantry ingredients, Fearless Cook stocks everything needed to level up in the kitchen, for beginner and seasoned home cooks alike. Wilson also leads cooking classes and hosts private lunches and dinners as well as culinary-based travel experiences. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, #20B, 260.341.4300, fearlesscookculinary.com

Flawless + Hepcat: Once individual business owners, co-owners Christina Baker and Chelby Husidic joined forces to create their brick and mortar women’s clothing boutique. With backgrounds in customer service, the boutique stresses their commitment to providing quality products and personal service to shoppers. The store stocks graphic T-shirts, dresses, leggings and kimonos and includes curvy sizes as well as a collection for tweens. Accessory categories include slippers and shoes, jewelry, scarves, hats, belts and keychains, and even cute mobile speakers and fun can koozies. 10812 Coldwater Road, Suite 300, 260.338.2713, shopflawlesshepcat.com

Fusion Yoga: Well known for their comprehensive slate of yoga and wellness classes, and highly trained instructors, Fusion Yoga now boasts an extensive athleisure boutique in the front of their space. Owned by Celeste Sexton and Meg Heminger, the boutique sells its own stylish branded goods alongside sought after pieces from Free People, Manduka, Spiritual Gangster and lululemon. From leggings, bra tops and tanks, jackets and loungewear to yoga mats, accessories and candles, Fusion Yoga offers everything needed to go from studio (or online class) to street with style. 6382 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.750.6432, fusionyogafw.com

Honey Plant: Located in the heart of the Wells Street corridor, Honey Plant, owned by Cassandra Braman (along with husband Logan), has become Fort Wayne’s indie houseplant hub. The urban jungle features houseplants that range in size, price and required level of care. Honey Plant offers comprehensive guidance for thumbs of all colors, and a wide variety of containers, many made by local ceramic artists, as well as potting soil, watering cans, decorative moss art and gorgeous crystals. 1436 N. Wells Street, 765.346.2896, shophoneyplant.com

Idlehour Boutique: Founded in 2015 as an athleisure boutique to complement the adjoining Pure Movement Pilates Studio, Idlehour has grown to include casual clothing, accessories and gifts. The lifestyle boutique, co-owned by Annie Henry and Tresa Pricer, features stylish and comfortable clothing, both classic and of the moment, along with the high end athleisure leggings they’ve always been known for. The store’s accessory game is on point with jewelry, totes and clutches, hats, mittens and scarves, and their best selling rollerball fragrance, Bespoke, an Idlehour fan favorite. 526 W. Jefferson Boulevard, 260.420.1000, idlehourboutique.com

Jet Set Babies: This new destination at Jefferson Pointe for the younger set is focused on high fashion looks for well-appointed kiddos. Owned by Olivia Nelson, the boutique stocks stylish goods from clothing like rompers, dresses, pajamas and separates for both boys and girls up to 24 months, as well as accessories like tights, socks and shoes, high style turbans and hats, glamorous sunnies and cute bows. The girls clothing also runs up to age 8, with new styles added regularly. In addition to goods for littles, Jet Set also stocks a tightly curated selection of graphic T shirts, leggings, dresses and loungewear as well as candles and body care for mamas. 4220 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Suite O-5, 260.444.5347, shopjetsetbabies.com

Jophiel: This longtime Fort Wayne favorite is the grand dame of local women’s clothing boutiques. Known for their extensive special occasion dresses, Jophiel, owned by Julie Eckert Clancy, is also the destination of choice for high quality day wear. One of the secrets to the boutique’s success is its commitment to personalized customer service. The slate experienced stylists offer next level, fully customized styling advice and services such as in-house alterations. In addition to the comprehensive clothing departments, Jophiel stocks quality footwear, day and evening handbags, scarves and both day and event jewelry. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, #20A, 260.436.8338, jophiel.com

Katali Boutique: Founded by Gina Rentschler, Katali Boutique takes its name from the first two letters of her children’s names. The store is one of the north side’s shopping destinations for women’s clothing and accessories, as well as home decor accents like vases and candles. Katali stocks well known labels and offers options from head to toe, from hats and scarves to footwear, and everything in between. Katali is spacious and stylishly appointed, and hosts special, seasonal shopping and styling events. 7771 Coldwater Road, 260.489.5895, kataliboutique.business.site

Lane 201: Named for her family’s lake home, Jill Hesterman founded Lane 201 in 2015 with family, and treating customers like family, in mind. While Lane 201 does operate a local retail location in New Haven, the shop has grown as a popular online boutique, with sales nationwide, and offering free shipping and returns. Lane 201 offers a wide and deep selection of apparel and accessories, and features a sweeping selection of day and evening dresses. The comprehensive shopping site offers styling advice, in-house photography of their goods, and a peek into how they buy for their customers, affordable price points, and with an eye on current trends. 510 Broadway, 260.444.9147, lane201.com

Mercantile on Main: Owner Pam Michel is an experienced retailer, with an antique shop in the 1980’s on Broadway, and for many years now at Mercantile on Main, a vintage and antique home goods shop on Main Street which she runs with her husband and two daughters. The restored house holds treasures from decades past, from furniture, kitchen goods and decor accent pieces, as well as well-curated vintage jewelry and clothing collections. Michel has a well-earned reputation for rehabbing vintage and antique lighting, and has done so for historical buildings and businesses. Through Mercantile on Main, she offers a considerable list of services for chandeliers, floor and table lamps, sconces and hanging fixtures including rewiring, cleaning, conversions and custom creations. 1752 W. Main Street, 260.420.5656, mercantilefw.com

Roselynn’s: This boutique, located in White Swan Plaza, began as a home-based, handmade jewelry line by designer and owner Ashley Anderson, transitioning from an Etsy shop into a brick and mortar boutique in 2018. Roselynn’s features Anderson’s popular, handmade jewelry collection, as well as trend-based clothing and accessories for women, with an emphasis on USA made brands. The boutique is also home to an artisan studio, where Anderson designs and manufactures her jewelry line, and where a collaboration with another local, woman-owned jewelry brand Luna & Jade is featured. 9185 Lima Road, customerservice@roselynns.com, roselynns.com

Saving Grace: Now located in the heart of charming Roanoke, Saving Grace Vintage, owned by Pam Kessie, specializes in restyled and painted furniture, using General Finishes, Miss Mustard Seed and Bungalow 47 paints and stains, lines also sold in the shop. They also host painting workshops for those interested in learning how to work with these popular milk and chalk paints. In addition to the reworked furniture, Saving Grace sells vintage inspired decor as well as goods by local artists and makers. The store also carries accessories for women, children’s gifts and goods for men. 212 N. Main Street, Roanoke, 260.416.8420, savinggracevintage.com

Smiley’s Joy: Located in an historic home in downtown Fort Wayne, Smiley’s Joy is full of merchandise that makes owner Cathy Smiley happy. Filled with bright and cheery colors and patterns, the shop sells women’s clothing up to size 3X, as well as handbags, totes, bath and body care by Inis and other small accessories. Smiley’s Joy also features home decor and accents like tea towels, mugs, toss pillows and wall art. 503 W. Wayne Street, 260.438.8867, smileysjoy.com

Sugar Love: Located in an airy and bright space, Sugar Love is a one stop shop for current clothing trends, gifts galore and accessories. Fun travel totes, face and hair masks, hats, scarves and jewelry accent the clothing offerings of loungewear, work wear and night out looks. Owner Jill Hite operates her wide-ranging business alongside her three daughters, Kate, Emily and Grace, and they mix and match their tastes and stages of life to ensure Sugar Love offers something for women of every age. 528 E. Dupont Road, 260.267.9601, sugarloveboutique.com

Symmetry: Nestled in Covington Plaza, Symmetry has long been known for elevated staples. With a selection of denim by Paige, streamlined knits, tops by Michael Stars, jewelry by Tat2 and Emily Kai and other small accessories, the boutique offers a curated collection of contemporary styles. Symmetry, owned by Jennifer Robinson, also carries the full range of Indiana-based natural fragrance line, Ambre Blends. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard, #15B, 260.436.6000

The FIND: Popular downtown shopping destination The FIND stocks stylish apparel for women, tasteful home goods and delightful gifts for children and men. Owned by longtime retailer Melani Wilson, the various departments reflect her taste and travels, as well as her commitment to seeking out and supporting local artists and makers. From a T shirt collaboration with mural artist JUURI, to their own in-house candle Indiana Nights, The FIND seeks to offer pieces that can’t be found elsewhere in town. 133 W. Wayne Street, 260.203.3498, thefindfw.com

The Hedge: Artist and owner Julie Wall has filled her downtown studio with handmade goods of all varieties. With origins in letterpress paper goods, she’s expanded into reclaimed leather as well as laser cut acrylic jewelry, repurposed (and cheeky) trophies, art prints, and now roller skate accessories, a fun nod to her grandparent’s storied business, The Roller Dome. Wall also sells at-home DIY kits and has been known to host a variety of in-house workshops and lively events. 1016 Broadway, 260.387.5237, thehedgestudios.com

The Monogram Shoppe: Sara Keltsch opened The Monogram Shoppe in 1980 and while the store has evolved over the years, it’s still going strong with a vast array of merchandise for home, children, travel and more. From novelty goods and gifts, university and area lake branded goods, baby keepsakes, unique and hard to find children’s toys, and their well-known stationery and invitation selection and services, The Monogram Shoppe offers something for everyone at every stage of life. 6410 W. Jefferson Boulevard #5, 260.436.3138, monogramshoppe.com


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