Pregnancy isn’t always a time when women feel their most fabulous. But one woman is doing her best to change that for her local community.
As both a doula and a therapist, Rashella D’Amico has spent a lot of time encouraging and comforting women, and hearing about their struggles during pregnancy. “I have heard everything from not being able to find affordable options to feeling crummy and not wanting to look crummy. I would have conversations with people about buying something nice for themselves or doing something special and I realized there were no ‘special’ options.”
Then Rashella had a thought. “We are lucky enough to have a few boutiques in our area that offer designer clothes and a more personal experience than a department store on the day-to-day, but nothing like that for maternity. After a while, I became infatuated with the idea of opening my own store.”
That store is now FabForty Maternity, a boutique located at 621 E. LaSalle Ave. in South Bend, IN. It is stocked with designer maternity clothes from around the world, along with jewelry and skin care products (lotions, stretch mark creams, etc.).
“I was deliberate about getting inventory that is not readily available in any department store,” Rashella said. “We offer lines from Quzeva in Switzerland, Asos and Isabella Oliver in the U.K., Pietro Brunelli out of Milan, Fillyboo out of Australia, and Olian and Maternal America here in the U.S.”
The boutique isn’t just a typical retail-clothing store. As a mother of three, Rashella understands the limited amount of time women wear maternity clothes, so she has made some of her inventory rental items. “The clothes rental works for our store much like it would if you rented a wedding dress, tux or evening wear, but we allow you to keep it longer. You come in, find an item you like, try it on and then sign a rental contract stating that you are just borrowing the item and will return it in good condition. Once the item is brought back to the store, I have it professionally dry cleaned and then put it back out for another consumer.”
The rental period is one month at a time. Three rental plans are currently available with one item costing $25, two items for $45, or three for $60. Insurance is also available for $7, in case a customer is concerned about damaging an item.
“Most of the items in our store are available for purchase or rent. There are only a few things that enough inventory was not available to do both. However, if someone sees something in the store that is not listed for rent and they would like to do so, I would be happy to take that into consideration.”
Just as the store name indicates, Rashella wants to help pregnant women feel fabulous during their forty weeks of pregnancy. As her tagline says, “You’re Pregnant. You’re Stylish. You have 40 Fabulous Weeks to enjoy maternity fashion!”