Although it takes a series of signs along the hallway of SWS Fashion Company’s building for a shopper to reach it, the store is still noticeable just walking down the street.
Every so often, store owner Stefanie Callahan updates the mannequins in the window with personalized outfits made from her store’s clothing.
“That’s something that customers love, and I get a lot of feedback online like, ‘I love this piece and this piece, but what can I put them with?’” she said. “So I always try to have a rack of outfits ready for people to pick up.”
SWS Fashion Company, or “Styles with Stef,” was opened by Callahan last January at 529 N. Main St., Suite 6. Although the store is small, it sells various clothing items and jewelry for women.
Although she opened the store earlier this year, Callahan said she had been selling clothes on Facebook out of her home since spring of 2016. Her husband, Jeff, is the general manager of Fremont Auto Center, which opened in downtown Fremont last summer.
“I had been a stay-at-home mom for several years, and so it was kind of a drive to want to help contribute to the family,” Callahan said. “And I’m kind of been the social butterfly of every office I’ve ever worked in, so I was getting a little stir-crazy at the same.”
Callahan had almost given up on looking for a place to set up shop in the summer of 2018 before she was approached that December by Rachel Chvatal, who owns Rejuvenate Day Spa, also at 529 N. Main St.
Chvatal said a salon had just moved out of the building, and Callahan jumped at the opportunity to make SWS Fashion a reality.
Callahan said she can feel the building’s history when walking down its halls. It housed the city’s first J.C. Penney’s back in the 1940s, and her grandmother would often take her there as she got her nails and hair done.
“I’m a fifth-generation Fremonter, so I have a lot of ties to downtown Fremont,” Callahan said. “So it was really cool to get into a building that I so many fond childhood memories of.”
You have free articles remaining.
Callahan first started running SWS Fashion only on the weekends after opening up.
“I did a bunch of flood relief with the livestock in this area starting in March, so I didn’t really do a whole lot until June,” she said. “And then in August, I opened full time, so that’s when we started our full-time hours, and business has been booming since.”
SWS Fashion offers clothing that Callahan said unique to the store. She said although the store has a very small line of children’s clothes, its main focus is women’s clothing from sizes XXS to 3XL.
“I know my customers pretty well and what they like, so I’m able to bring in what they like and carry some unique pieces as well,” Callahan said. “You’re not going to see somebody else what you’re wearing.”
Callahan said she was glad to see customers from her Facebook sales visiting the shop. Although she said her specialty was leggings, she said she’s moved to other popular clothing items like denim.
“I really haven’t had to adjust too much because I had such an audience online that I was really able to just adjust before I opened up here with what my customers’ wants and needs were,” Callahan said.
Since opening SWS Fashion, Callahan said the store’s popularity has spread fast. She said she’s joined MainStreet of Fremont last summer and recently joined the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, which will hold a one-year anniversary ribbon-cutting for the store in January.
“It’s been a great experience, being able to work with my customers more in-person here in a retail location, where I’m face-to-face with them all the time,” Callahan said.
With SWS Fashion, Callahan said she just wants to make women feel wonderful with just a couple pieces of clothing.
“That’s why I try to carry something for everyone in all sizes, because I feel like every woman deserves to be beautiful,” she said. “So that’s what I’ve taken away most, is that women just love to feel amazing, and I’m glad to be able to provide a little bit of extra customer service and do that for them.”