When it comes to personal style and impact, you can never have enough Charm and Grace.

The Quad-Cities will soon be home to both, as Grace Boutique, an upscale boutique featuring plus-sized clothing, will join its sister store, Charm, at 2507 53rd Ave., Bettendorf, on Sept. 20.

Like Charm, Grace will offer a striking and singular collection of unique woman’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and gifts. Its genesis was borne of necessity, as many of Charm’s customers and potential customers were requesting a wider range of sizes which weren’t covered by the Charm vendors.

“We could see there was a need and a desire for these clothes in more sizes to accommodate the needs of our patrons,” said AnnMarie Mendel, owner of both shops. “We felt that it would be great from a number of perspectives to be able to offer wonderful, one-of-a-kind fashions to women of all beauty types.”

The grand opening of the store will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. It will feature a ribbon-cutting, special events, refreshments and more. In addition, 10 percent of all sales proceeds from the day will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and the donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Mendel.

The Charm and Grace boutiques will have an ongoing relationship with the charity and participate in other fundraising activities with it, including fundraising during National Juvenile Diabetes Month in November and participating in the JDRF walk next May.  The charity is near-and-dear to Mendel’s heart, as her son, Devin, 20, was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 21 months.

Mendel, is one of many up-and-coming businesswomen in the area, having purchased Charm a year ago this fall and turned in into the premier spot for upscale high fashion clothing in the Quad-Cities. Mendel, previously the marketing and business development manager for the Simon Properties Group (owners of Northpark and Southpark Malls), initiated a number of changes in branding, décor and the number and quality of fashion lines in the boutique, and expanded the demographic range for the store to the 50-75 mile mark in and around the Quad-Cities.

“I’ve always believed in empowering other women and making all women feel beautiful,” Mendel said. “Internal beauty is obviously most important, but we all want to look our best and we wanted all women to be able to have access to top-of-the-line fashions and high-end, unique clothing.”

Grace offers the same custom shopping experience and styling expertise as its sister store. “We offer an experience,” Mendel said. “We offer personal styling, one-of-a-kind perks and more, including a personal shopping experience that is second-to-none. For example, if you have a last minute dinner party or special occasion, we can prepare a wardrobe to your specifications for you to pick up and take with you. You can try on the things you like, keep what you wish and return those items that don’t suit you. We pride ourselves on really knowing our customers and what they want and what makes them feel and look their best.”

The shop features limited quantities of each item to emphasize the unique aspect of each style choice and allow patrons to stand out. “It’s important for everyone to be confident and feel unique in the fashions they choose,” Mendel said. “Nobody wants to walk into an event and see everyone wearing the same thing. We offer exclusive options that are as unique as you.”

For more information, see the store’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/GraceBoutiqueQC, or each store’s soon-to-be-revamped websites at www.qcgrace.com and www.charmtheqc.com.

 

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.