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  • By Lisa Brody

Women's store Fab'rik coming to downtown

The national women's retailer fab'rik will be joining the mix in downtown Birmingham, the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD) announced, filling the vacant ArtLoft space at 123 W. Maple.

With more than 40 locations nationwide, fab’rik is known as a leading fashion franchise. Carrie Sofikitis and Melissa Mistrot, sisters and co-owners, feel Birmingham is an ideal location for the new store. “I live in Birmingham and can’t think of a better location for the boutique,” said Sofikitis, who moved to Birmingham in 2004. She is originally from Huntsville, Alabama, near where her sister, Melissa Mistrot, has a fab'rik store in Homewood, Alabama. “It has the perfect downtown atmosphere and the perfect clientele for fab’rik.”

Fab'rik stores are understated, minimalistic and inspired by natural elements. Throughout the in-store decor, the backdrop is a blank canvas for customers to shop complete looks and individual pieces. “In doing so, our clothing and style are the statements projecting an elevated, high-fashion and sophisticated brand. From personal styling to a celebratory glass of champagne, the fab’rik team is expert in creating a memorable shopping experience for every customer,” its website states.

“Shoppers will find items priced under $100 – with the exception of designer denim. “The company’s goal is to offer items that are beautiful and affordable,” said Mistrot. “Merchandise changes frequently, so there’s always going to be something new to see.”

Clothing items include long and short casual dresses, inexpensive fashionable tops, shorts, T-shirts, jumpsuits, jeans, casual jackets, shoes, sweatshirts and accessories.

Fab’rik was first founded in 2002 by Dana Spinola, who aimed to create a clothing boutique where everyone could afford to feel beautiful. Fab’rik began franchising in 2006 and now shares its heartbeat with more than 40 stores across the United States. This will be the first Michigan location.

In addition, part of the fab’rik mantra, “High Style with Heart,” represents its belief that clothing has the ability to change lives. In 2009, fab’rik launched its non-profit arm, free fab’rik, which uses fashion to empower women and girls in need with quality clothing through free shopping sprees with local service agencies. In 2012, the brand launched its in-house designed clothing line, Asher – named for Spinola's daughter – which funds adoptions in Africa. Throughout the year the boutique will also host “Shop for a Cause Events” that support a local charity, facility or school. Teachers will be pleased to learn fab’rik hosts special shopping days where they receive a percentage off their purchase.

“Fab'rik will be the perfect fit for the Birmingham community. Fashion paired with giving back,” Sofikitis said. “The customer experience that fab'rik offers will wow the shoppers in downtown Birmingham.”

Sofikitis and Mistrot plan to open fab’rik in late-summer or early fall. “We’re so excited to open our doors in Birmingham. Walking into the store will make you feel like you’re walking into your best friend’s closet. It’s clean and bright, and our stylist will help you find the perfect outfit,” said Sofikitis. “If you’re having a bad day, we’ll help boost your spirits. You’re going to feel better and come out with some new clothes at a fine price. We want you to feel at home and have fun.”

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