SANDPOINT — With a passion for fashion, Phyllis Foro recently opened the newest addition to the Cedar Street Bridge.
Cabi is a company that offers women an option to shop for clothing from the comfort of their own home. As a Cabi stylist, Foro has hosted fashion experiences from her home — until now. After retiring from her corporate job this winter, Foro spotted the empty space on the second floor of the bridge and thought, “What a great place for a Cabi studio.”
“To be able to bring this to women here in Sandpoint and beyond,” she said, adding that it is a great place for women to bring their girlfriends, along with some sips and savories, and have a fashion experience.
Cabi is named for its co-founders, a designer by the name of Carol Anderson. Foro said she has been a fan of Anderson for a number of years. “She had a fabulous petite line that fit me perfect,” Foro said. “... It was very chic, very fashion forward, and the clothes were very well made.”
It was in 2001 that Anderson saw a need in the area of retail, as women were leaving the mall “deflated by the anxiety and inefficiency of endless, isolated browsing,” according to cabionline.com. Anderson began wondering if there was a way to better serve women by giving them the focus, help, and guidance they desired. She worked with a management consultant by the name of Kimberly Inskeep and, through brainstorming with 10 other women, they formed the Cabi fashion experience — Carol Anderson by Invitation.
“The mission is to actually bring a personalized shopping experience, with a stylist, to ladies,” Foro said. “It is a solution to that frustration of shopping and putting together outfit.”
Also, in 2005, The Heart of Cabi Foundation was formed with the intention to make a difference for women living in poverty around the world, according to the website.
“They empower women in underdeveloped countries to help them fund businesses,” Foro said.
To date, The Heart of Cabi Foundation has funded 15,230 small business loans around the world and distributed $54 million in clothing, impacting 62 countries. In addition, 168 stylist communities have been impacted through giving events. Foro said there is a Heart of Cabi piece in each line, such as this season’s “Petal Blouse,” where a portion of the profits go to the foundation.
Cabi offers a fall/winter line and spring/summer line. Each line runs for about six months, Foro said, with about 25 new pieces added to those lines throughout the season. All the clothing in a line is sold as separate pieces, yet they all interchange with one another, Foro said. There is also jewelry and three types of shoes that go with “virtually everything” in the collection, she said.
Foro has a background in teaching, and for a number of years traveled around the country improving customer service in the automotive industry. After nearly 28 of traveling, she decided this winter that she was ready to settle down and do what she loves.
“I really like this — I like clothes,” she said, adding that she was brought up in retail.
As the Cabi studio is not a retail store, one-on-one or group fashion experiences are by appointment. Foro can be reached at 206-948-2179 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.