When it comes to clothing design, Shauna Force likes to do it all. She draws, she sews — she screen prints her creations herself. And it doesn’t seem like work. “I was sewing clothes for my dolls when I was five, and I was always drawing, too,” she says.
Having outgrown dolls, Force co-founded Salgado Fenwick with her childhood friend, Linda Ritter, eventually opening a store on 124th Street where they dressed adults and kids in unique, contemporary designs.
After almost six successful years, the pair closed up shop, ready to move on and, in Force’s case, ready to simplify. “I just had a kid,” she says, “and needed something more flexible than working nine-to-five at the store.”
With her own real-life doll providing inspiration, Force narrowed her focus and started Fenwick & Co. from her home.
“I’m spending all this time at home with a baby. So I wanted to just make baby clothes and home things instead of the huge range of items and sizes that we used to do.”
After a COVID delay, Force started filling orders through Instagram and dropped off her first batch of baby pants and tea towels to sell at Tix on the Square last October (and at fenwickandco.com now). Once she has the organic fabrics, each item takes two-to-four weeks from first sketch to final product.
She misses forging customer relationships at the markets and pop-ups that didn’t happen last summer, but otherwise Force is doing exactly what she wants to do — sharing her creations for others to enjoy. “People have been really good about supporting local in these crazy times. And I think everybody’s realizing that we were kind of running around crazy doing so many things, and that maybe we can take it down a step.” Sounds simple enough.
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This article appears in the Winter 2021 issue of Edify.