Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Owner aims to donate to local organizations

Opening Cosa Boutique in September, owner Amanda Houdek wanted to create a space that provided employment for teens and young adults with special needs and differing abilities.

As the owner of CI Therapies, a company with numerous pediatric therapy centers in Wisconsin, Houdek has worked with kids with special needs for many years.

“We wanted to have a place where [young people can] find meaningful employment in a productive and constructive setting,” Houdek says. “We had a problem finding that, so we created it.”

Since the shop opened, Houdek, store manager Michelle Perkins and buyers for the boutique Jenny Kuckuk and Becky Lotto have been running it, but Houdek hopes to start training teens and young adults to begin working at Cosa in 2020. Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

“We’re thinking outside the box and addressing their needs, but also giving them a job that they can go to work at and feel proud of,” Houdek says.

The name Cosa comes from a past patient of Houdek’s – a girl named Jocosa, who was nonverbal and nonambulatory. Jocosa died in 2008, but in her 8 years of life, she was one of the most fashionable little girls Houdek knew. Had Jocosa lived to adulthood, Houdek says she would have been exactly the type of person who would have worked at Cosa, which is located in Fitchburg.

Cosa mainly offers women’s clothing and accessories, and Houdek says they are also finding brands and vendors that have a cause or donate a portion of sales to charitable organizations.

In keeping with the mantra of “Look Good, Do Good,” Cosa will also donate a portion of sales each month to a local charity that supports inclusion.

Must-Haves

Repurpose for a Purpose: Rareform takes old billboard vinyl and transforms it into totes for people on the go. $68Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Beyond Blue: Principle creates unique denim pants like this herringbone pair with sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. $150Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Cover Up: One of Cosa’s owner’s favorite pieces is PAIGE’s toffee-colored (also available in black) leather moto jacket. $699Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Top It Off: Keep the sun out of your eyes with a stylish wool hat from Trim & Tailor. $52Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Born in the USA: MaHaLeather from Colorado creates leather earrings using traditional techniques and contemporary designs. $19.95Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Rest Easy: Relax away tension with a handmade migraine mask from Slow North, based in Austin, Texas. $34Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Embrace Hygge: Love Your Melon, the brand that gives 50% of its profits to fight pediatric cancer, is known for its hats. $45 Fitchburg boutique Cosa aims to spread kindness through fashion

Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine.

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