Trish’s Garage tunes up Motor City fashion
By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Ebony Rutherford has been working on her dream of opening a retail clothing boutique, Trish’s Garage, since 2007, and thanks to an opportunity through a Detroit grant organization, her shop has opened for a two-month run in a prestigious location — 1249 Woodward Avenue, downtown between Grand River and State Street.
“I think it’s for every woman — a lot of times we may have a look that we want to showcase, and that’s cool. Be your authentic you,” says Rutherford. “I think the clothes really should match how you feel.”
Selling affordable clothing, accessories and novelty items, Rutherford received a two-month grant from D:hive, a welcome center designed to stimulate Detroit business growth, to open her doors to the public, with rent, utility and other expenses paid.
“Entrepreneurship is about learning as you go,” says Rutherford, who was raised in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan. Helping young women develop new fashion styles for themselves is one of her great passions, one that began with friends asking her to help her out with their wardrobes. Styling services are also one of the features of Trish’s Garage, where women of all ages can come and get a new perspective on their look, from casual to corporate to cocktail.
“I treat everybody as if we’re in a relationship,” she says. “I want to get to know you, have conversations, find out what you like and what you dislike so I can make sure I’m capturing everything you need. Because at the end of the day I’m in service for the customer. It’s really not about me; it’s about them, so I want to make sure I can provide them with a great service they’ll want to tell other people about.”
Rutherford sees great freedom in today’s fashion styles, with men and women displaying an eclectic array of outfits from vintage to modern, conservative to funky.
“When I walk down the street, I always see something different. It makes me know that I’m in the right place in the right time. Detroit fashion is creative, it’s revolutionary, it’s spunky, it’s cool, it’s eclectic, it’s reserved. I’ve seen women that have been very casual corporate, I’ve seen women that have been funky, it’s just overall mad cool, so I just love to take little pieces of that and try to put it into the store.
“Everything is in-style, there’s not out-of-style,” she says, “and I think that’s what makes fashion so cool, is that you can be your authentic self with anything.”