Twins run online boutique while finishing nursing degrees


Ashley and Keeley Fischbach sitting with their boutique products

Sara Vanerdewyk, Reporter

Twin sisters Ashley and Keeley Fischbach are studying their way through nursing school at South Dakota State, which for many students would be all the work they would want.

But the Fischbachs have a side gig that not many other students have: they run their own business – Fab&Fit Boutique.

Fab&Fit sells what’s known as athleisure wear, loungewear, seasonal items and custom school spirit shirts and crewnecks in sizes XS to 3X. They also sell many accessories and other items such as purses, wallets, hair clips and bath bombs.

“We choose our products by a mixture of what we like and think is trending, while also asking our followers what they might like,” Keeley said. “Sometimes we will create a social media post of potential items that we could order. Then we ask our followers to comment which items are their top two or three favorites. It’s a way to get our followers involved with the process.” 

The sisters started their online boutique in May 2021 after going to a wholesale market in Los Angeles with their mom, Julie Fischbach. She owns her own business, Mainstream Boutique, in Aberdeen. Wholesale markets feature a variety of vendors, and business owners can look around and buy items in large quantities at a cheaper price to sell in their own stores. 

 Unlike their mom, who owns a physical store, Ashley and Keeley made their boutique online, allowing them to run the business while in college. The setup also allows them to figure out what products to sell and to whom they would sell them to.

“What made us start our own business, was wanting to provide an affordable option of athletic wear for girls around our age,” Ashley said.

Fab&Fit does business through Facebook and Instagram. The twins explained that to grow their following, they simply relied on word of mouth for people to find out about them. They have about 2,700 followers on Facebook and another 1,200 followers on Instagram.

“In our first post, we posted a legging and workout bra set,” Keeley said. “We sold over 50 of them on the first order. That’s when we knew our business had real potential.”

To split up the work, Ashley packages orders, sends invoices and works with shipping (Fab&Fit ships orders across the United States), while Keeley does the shopping and ordering from vendors and runs most of the social media accounts. 

Kamryn Heinz, one of their roommates, has enjoyed seeing the twins grow with their business and has learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes process.

“It’s fun seeing what all comes in,” Heinz said. “I have learned a lot about how a business is run because of them.” 

The roommates even have an ongoing joke when Heinz orders items from the boutique.

“I have a lot of clothes from them,” Heinz said. “We joke that it’ll be $20 to make them throw me my order down the stairs.”

While the added work from of their business can be difficult at times to balance with school, Ashley and Keeley agree that their go-to skill to balance the various activities in their life is time management. 

“Time management is very big, especially scheduling out specific times to work on the business,” Keeley said. “Our goal for each week is to have everything shipped out by Friday at 5 p.m. This set schedule helps us out a lot, especially when you add nursing school to the mix.”

When they’re not working on the boutique business, you can find the twins studying for their next nursing exam. 

They are both seniors in terms of credits completed and are projected to graduate from SDSU in December. Both said they were interested in pursuing careers in either obstetrics nursing, labor and delivery, postpartum or neonatal intensive care nursing. 

They also are interested in becoming travel nurses but want to work for a year or two to gain experience in the field before taking on that challenge. Though they will be nurses, they will try to continue the business, even if they don’t end up living in the same place.

When asked about what advice they would give other college students or anyone looking to start their own business, they stressed that you have to put yourself out there.

“Don’t think too much about it, just do it,” Keeley said. “You never know if something will be successful or not if you don’t try it.”