Local boutique focuses on sustainable fashion, gives back to community

Sadie’s has been the go-to boutique for some students in South Orange for about three years. Located at 65 Valley St., Sadie’s sells women’s and men’s clothing and home goods from local suppliers who work toward a sustainable future.

Catherine Fisher, the owner of the boutique, explained Sadie’s mission and what the store is all about.

“We focus on philanthropic and ethical brands,” Fisher said. “These are brands that are made with sustainable fashion, which ensure that the fabric is organic and the people are paid well. We also carry brands that donate to different causes.” 

Faith DeJesus, a freshman journalism major, said, “Since today, so many large businesses are unethical, I think it’s important because it shows that businesses can abide by these standards and still make money.”

Sadie’s carries “work-to-weekend wear,” which Fisher described as “the more casual side of ready-to-wear items.”

Fisher said she worked in retail for about 20 years before opening Sadie’s in 2017.

“Being that I am a resident of South Orange, I was sick of the fact that there was nowhere to go to go clothing shopping,” Fisher said. “That mixed with my own personal mission of wanting to give back to the community, I found an empty space that I thought would work and went for it.”

Every month, Sadie’s chooses a different charity that they do one event for, and they also donate 1% of their sales to that charity.

“This March, we are teaming up with the high school’s prom shop,” Fisher said. “They give those who cannot afford a new prom dress a chance to get one, as we’ll collect used dresses from the community and sell them at the prom shop at the high school. We’ll also donate a portion of our sales to get gift cards for those who want to get their hair done and different things like that.”

Emily High, a senior public relations major and employee at Sadie’s, discussed why she likes the store so much.

“I really like the niche the store has,” High said. “A lot of our products are sustainably-made or responsibly-sourced. It’s really a store with a purpose; I like how involved it is with the community.”

High runs social media for Sadie’s, designs the front window and helps write press releases for the store. She said the best thing about Sadie’s is “the great relationship I’ve formed with my boss.”

Fisher said the biggest challenge she has dealt with since owning her own business is time management. “It’s difficult to not be working all the time when it’s your own business,” she said.

In terms of what she has learned from working at a small business, High said, “small businesses are an integral part of any community.”

“The South Orange-Maplewood area is such a hyperlocal area as far as welcoming businesses,” she added. “I really enjoy interacting with the community.”

When asked if small businesses are good for the community, DeJesus said, “Definitely, they break up monopolies and they create competition in business, which is great for the economy.”

High said Sadie’s is one-of-a-kind, which is so different from other small clothing boutiques because they care so much about the products they bring into the store.

High said, “You’re not going to find another boutique that puts so much care into their products and that is so conscious about what they are buying.” 

Jorie Mickens can be reached at jorie.mickens@student.shu.edu

Author: Jorie Mickens

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