Mercer Island fashion business morphs from store to cyberspace

After closing the door on her Bellevue clothing shop, Mercer Island resident Christi Sandvik opened another. Sandvik, along with her friend, Kathy Hennessy, has started, a trendy online women’s fashion boutique.

Sandvik owned Christi’s on Main in Old Bellevue on Main Street for eight years. A year ago, she closed the store after the poor economy slowed sales. Christi’s on Main carried high-end designer clothing, but for, the two women will carry some designer clothing, yet not as high end as in the Bellevue store. Sandvik and Hennessy have also brought on many private label brands that are of beautiful quality, Sandvik said, but much lower and more reasonable in price.

Some of the labels that are most popular are Bailey 44, Three Dots, Red Engine Denim and Sanctuary. The site also carries accessories such as belts, handbags and scarves. Sandvik said they are relying on the name recognition from their Bellevue store to jump start their new venture.

But there is more to the store than selling, the partners said.

“The thing that makes us distinct from any other fashion Web site is that we are a company formed specifically to help women worldwide in need,” Sandvik said in an e-mail. “We give 10 percent of our revenue to two amazing organizations, and our customers are able to choose their preference at checkout and see exactly how much of their purchase will go to that charity.”

The two charities include World Vision’s microenterprise loans which allows women in developing countries to start their own small businesses and Compassion2one, a local organization whose purpose is to rescue women and children out of the sex slave industry.

One of the charities was near to Kris’ heart, the other was near and dear to Kathy’s heart, Sandvik said.

“We are very excited about our new endeavor and hope to give women a sense of purpose as they shop and bring hope to many around the world,” Sandvik said.

Visit the company’s website for more information.

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