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Phoebe & Co. launches as online clothing venture

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A first-time business venture for a Springfield woman took flight April 1 with the beginning of Phoebe & Co., an online women’s boutique.

Owner and sole employee Amanda Ash said the e-commerce shop, ShopPhoebeCo.com, sells women’s contemporary clothing, including dresses, shorts and shirts, as well as jewelry and hair accessories. Sizes and selection for products, which generally range $30-$60, will expand in the coming weeks, she said.

“Eventually, I’ll have a lot more, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” Ash said, adding she spent roughly $1,200 on inventory and the website to launch the business.

It’s not a full-time pursuit for Ash, who works as a social media moderator for online travel agency Hotels.com. However, she said the idea for launching an e-commerce fashion site has been on her mind for years – even though some people were naysayers about the concept.

“I’m kind of motivated when people tell me that I can’t do something,” Ash said.

Ash said she’s obtaining products for Phoebe & Co. through FashionGo, an e-commerce wholesale clothing marketplace with access to hundreds of manufacturers and wholesalers.

She noted 10% of all monthly sales would go to a different charitable organization. April’s beneficiary is Rescue One, a foster-based animal rescue nonprofit. The organization also is where Ash adopted her 10-month-old Rottweiler mix, Phoebe, who served as inspiration for the store’s name.

Ash said she’s struggled with body image her whole life. She wants the store to serve as a place of inclusion for all women.

“I want it to have an image you don’t typically see with fashion,” she said, adding the site currently sells fashion in sizes S-XXXL. “That’s my idea behind it. It’s about the clothes, but it’s also about the message.”

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