is back in business. The Merrick Road clothing store re-opened on Feb. 18 after being severely damaged in an
After months of rebuilding and repairing, owner Carrie Johnson is focused on letting her customer base know that it’s time to return.
“I’ve been touching base with all of my customers,” Johnson said. “I’ve sent out e-blasts and mailings and gradually they’re coming in. I had a nice response at the grand opening. Gradually, they are coming in and calling to ask if I’m open. Slowly but surely we’re going to get back into the swing of things again.”
The clothing store offers a wide selection of blouses, dresses, pants, shoes and accessories for average and plus sized women.
The process leading to the grand re-opening was a long one. The entire roof needed repairs. Walls were damaged when firemen broke through to make sure no interior structure fires existed. Finally, water damage destroyed a large portion of the store.
Johnson says she was able to salvage some of her inventory, but a majority of it was ruined. She had to purchase new stock in order to remain operational after the fire. Although her store was under construction, Johnson kept on selling her merchandise at local women’s events.
“Organizations would have luncheons and programs and they would have vendors set up tables,” Johnson said.
With the store back, Johnson can now concentrate on her main objective, bringing fashion to women of all different sizes.
“My more popular items are my special occasion pieces. I have a lot of unusual pieces that you don’t see everyday,” she said.
Those specialty pieces include coat dresses - flashy coats that women can wear as a dress.
“They vary in color and length,” Johnson said. “They’re eye catchers.”
For those who aren’t quite sure what direction to go in upon entering the store, employs fashion consultants to help customers along the way.
“They work with the customers and try and make the right selections for their particular body type,” Johnson said. “We have varying types of customers. Some are conservative. Some can carry something a little bit flashier. We give advice on what works well or what works better for a customers body type.”
Johnson opened the store six years ago, serving exclusively to plus-sized women. This target market has changed a bit over the last year.
“I noticed that I would get a lot of average sized customers coming through my door because they were attracted to the clothes in my window,” Johnson said. “I would have to keep sending them away. Last year, I started incorporating all sizes and I’ve been doing very well.”
Johnson is eager to renew the strong relationship she has with those customers.
“I like where I am,” she said. “It’s nice and peaceful. I love my customers.”
is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.