Broad Ripple based women’s boutique Marigold Clothing prides itself on the community and connections they strive to create with everyone that walks through their doors. This can be credited in part to being a family-owned business. Linda Shikany founded the boutique in 1989, and her niece Elizabeth Shikany has since taken over as manager. “Business has always been a part of our family,” explains Elizabeth. Yet even as a business oriented family, both Linda and Elizabeth see their work as much more than simply selling clothes. “We always say it’s not really about the clothing — it’s about the connections,” says Linda. “And the friendships that you develop with everybody that walks through the door,” adds Elizabeth. “No visitor is a stranger here. We’re welcoming to everybody.”
Marigold Clothing was established to bring unique, funky, and fun pieces to Indianapolis. To this day, Marigold Clothing continues to fulfill this mission. “We have a very clear vision of who we are,” states Linda.
As a boutique that caters to what their customers want, the type of material their items are made of matter. “Cottons, linens, rayon, silks, those fabrics are definitely part of our story,” explains Elizabeth. “Those fibers that are going to last longer, tolerate washing and wearing better and not have to be dry cleaned.”
This slow fashion approach is another aspect that gives Marigold Clothing a distinct edge. “We are so anti-fast fashion, it’s just not part of our mantra,” states Linda. While the concept of sustainable or slow fashion has only recently become a buzzword, Marigold Clothing has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to supplying quality items from diverse artists. “We have international, national, regional, and local designers,” explains Elizabeth. “I think that helps give [Marigold Clothing] a uniqueness.”
As a boutique that believes in creating community, not only with their vendors and clientele, but with their local community as well, Marigold Clothing thrives in Broad Ripple. “You can go to any city, and the big box stores will be there,” says Linda. “What gives a city flavor is the local restaurants, the local retail, and the local services. That’s what creates Broad Ripple. We believe in community, and you have to support the community around you.”
Unfortunately, in a digital world where shopping online individually is the norm, building community with customers can pose a challenge. As a business that emphasizes connections and customer service, Marigold Clothing has faced its fair share of obstacles when trying to match their same level of unparalleled customer service online as in their brick and mortar.
“Our bread and butter is always going to be making those connections with customers and having that one on one experience — almost being that personal shopper for people,” explains Elizabeth. “But I do think we would be selling ourselves short if we didn’t have some sort of offering online. I think it will always remain our main mission to be a brick and mortar, but to be sustainable [as a business] we would have to eventually go online.” Even so, both Linda and Elizabeth agree that they want to find a balance between their brick and mortar and e-commerce. “There are ways with technology and social media that we can build what our bread and butter has been by connecting with customers, and still bring them into the store to make the purchase,” explains Elizabeth. “People still want that connection,” adds Linda. “To me the online selling would be in addition to what we do.”
The dedication Linda and Elizabeth bring towards building community, rather than profit, has enabled Marigold Clothing to flourish. “There’s challenges and it can be hard but it’s so rewarding,” says Elizabeth. “The fashion’s just a fun bonus.”