Couple opens skater, pop art boutique in Marietta

Photo by Janelle Patterson Pop art by Marietta native Cameron Benson line the walls above the women’s section of clothing in the new Front Street boutique, Threadz.

MARIETTA — A new Front Street shop is already restocking a second shipment of clothing.

Threadz, a skater/pop art-styled boutique, opened July 21 and has had consistent traffic not only with younger shoppers, but also for those looking at a seasonal spend.

“We want everyone to feel like they can come shop, but it’s more popular with the high school and college kids that will be coming back,” said Tayla Lerch, 20.

Lerch and her husband, Jordan, 21, of Parkersburg, jumped into their dream of opening the shop downtown, with clothing and accessories geared toward an audience that doesn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a cute outfit or hip T-shirt.

“None of our clothes are over $35 and accessories range under $20, except the skateboards and their accessories are more,” Lerch said.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Ben Smith, 34, of Marietta, browses through the male section at Threadz on Front Street in Marietta.

But the young vibe of the store isn’t just in its merchandise. The couple, who are graduates of the Warren and Marietta school districts, respectively, also want to foster burgeoning art in their shop.

That’s where Marietta native Cameron Benson, 25, of Williamstown, came in.

“Jordan was in my younger brother’s grade in school and we were neighborhood friends growing up,” explained Benson. “And when Jordan told me he was wanting to open up a store downtown he asked if I’d share my work there too. He knows I’d eventually like to have my own studio down there, too.”

Now, Benson’s comic art, made with acrylic paints and sharpies, lines the walls, contrasting their bright colors with the checkerboard floors.

Those flashy colors are then mirrored in the clothing lines featured in the store, and caught the eye of Lexi Drake, 20, of Parkersburg, and Ben Smith, 34, of Marietta, as they were shopping downtown recently.

Drake said her interest was piqued with the affordability of the jewelry.

“Plus it’s cute,” she added before buying three bracelets.

Tayla Lerch said she and her husband eventually plan to also stock pants and shoes in the store, but for now are excited by the response of customers to their later hours and popular brands with the high school crowd.