Tremont boutique spotlights ethical fashion

Jennifer Marks has been in the fashion business as a boutique owner and a stylist for more than 20 years, and now she's bringing her style sense to Northeast Ohio with her boutique, Makers by J. Marks, which opened in Tremont in November.

Marks is enjoying her store's neighborhood, saying another Tremont boutique owner helped her find the location. "The Tremont neighborhood is great," she said. Marks said that rather than being rife with competition, her fellow Tremont business owners are of the mindset that the more stores and restaurants are in the area, the more visitors the area will attract, benefitting everyone.

Makers by J. Marks focuses on ethical fashion, and its offerings are sourced from designers who produce in ethical manners. In addition to clothing and accessories, the boutique carries handbags, bath and body products, kitchen and home items, and artwork.

When looking for new items, Marks looks to designers she knows from her years as a boutique owner in St. Louis as well as designers she's met on her travels. "There are so many great, amazing people out there just waiting to be discovered," she said. She relies on a core of regular designers and rotates in new ones. She said she takes a little bit of each of the boutiques she has run and incorporated the best parts into Markers by J. Marks.

In terms of clothing, the boutique carries pieces that a customer can rely on to last a long time - the opposite of fast fashion. A customer can "buy something that will fit well on her and is made to last," Marks said. Her belief is that clothes should be functional, washable and wearable.

Marks' stylist background shows in her approach to helping her customers find the right pieces. "[What we wear] is the first impression we put out; it shows how we feel about ourselves," she said. "Learn who you are now, love it, and be comfortable in it."

Makers by J. Marks is located at 2418 Professor Ave., Cleveland. For more information, visit


Friday, January 1, 2016