CAMDEN — Two new clothing stores, Barefoot in Denim and Fat Face, opened recently on Bay View Street in downtown Camden, with plans for the Page Gallery and Zen & Company to open in May.
BAREFOOT IN DENIM
The new store at 24 Bay View features affordable denim under $100 for women and teens, vegan leather jackets, purses and bags, dresses, shirts, sweaters and more.
Owner Jennel Johnson Pendleton opened the business in March, as a go-to, year-round shop for women and teens to find jeans in a range of styles, from shaping and flattering in softer denims, to classic Levi 501s to distressed finishes and the new frayed, "v"-cut and "shark bite" hems.
She offers nine different varieties of Levi's premium jeans. These fashion jeans are not what you would find in a department store, Pendleton said, and include a four-way stretch that sculpts and molds, is "super-comfortable" and "never bags at the knees," and another shaping jean that "tucks and holds everything in." She carries Lucky Brand, Kut from the Kloth jeans in a range of styles and lengths, and Hidden jeans and denim jackets, with distressing, frays and hem cuts.
For accessories and jackets, she chose vegan leather purses, bags that are "beautiful and simple, with great details," and jackets, including a black vegan leather jacket, "that never goes out of style." Pendleton was attracted to vegan leather, which she feels are a good fit for Maine, where people are more aware of the environment.
Barefoot in Denim "came to fruition because my basic style is laid back, jeans and T-shirts and barefoot," Pendleton said. That said, she also "loves a beautiful dress," and throughout the store she carries dresses, sweaters and tops, that can be carried "year after year."
Pendleton lived on Islesboro with her two daugthers, until moving into a "tiny house" on the mainland more than a year ago. With one daughter in high school and another in college, and a degree in retail merchandising from Virginia Tech, she enrolled in "My Next Career Move," a class offered at the Camden Public Library in partnership with New Ventures Maine. She visited apparel markets last summer to see if the affordable and fashionable jeans she envisioned for dressing adult women existed, and found there were many choices.
Nationwide, the trend in retail is going back to "mom and pop" shops, instead of big box stores, Pendleton said, "If you go into a big box store now, they are trying to make each department feel like its own little store," she said. Owning a store where customers can come in and relax, chat and find jeans with their perfect fit, in Camden, which is known for its unique, locally owned stores, is exactly where Pendelton wants to be. Store hours are Mondau through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m..
For more information, visit barefootindenim.com.