One of the many reasons to shop local is for the personalized service that small independent businesses can – and do – offer. A business-owner on Main Street, who lives in the same community as his or her customers, can take the time to get to know them and can customize the entire shopping experience.
Take Julie Mazur, whose Rambling Rose Boutique is, quite literally, on Main Street, right in the heart of downtown New Paltz. Entering her 20th year of business offering upscale women’s clothing and accessories, Mazur says that she has developed a loyal customer base in part because of the personalized service that the store offers, from bra-fitting to accessorizing to everything in between. It’s about helping the customer feel confident about her unique style and appearance, and as an extension of that, Mazur has begun offering a “Closet Consultation” service at Rambling Rose.
“Let us help you love yourself and your closet” is the philosophy as Mazur visits clients in their homes by appointment, where she works closely with them to go through their existing wardrobe. “The aim is to have a closet that contains only items that make you look your best,” she says, “special pieces that you love, that every time you wear them make you feel great.” Mazur is personally involved in every consultation. “Often the client and I are able to ‘shop’ in her closet for new and exciting combinations of clothing that she already owns. Then I usually leave a list of recommendations for some additional items that will expand the versatility of her wardrobe.”
There is no “cookie-cutter” format that the consultations take, says Mazur. Each appointment is tailored to the client, as they determine her most flattering styles and colors. “We work closely together to discern what the vision is that she wishes to present to the world.” The client tries on various items, and together they separate clothing into six piles: keep; repair or tailor; dry clean; sentimental; for consignment; and donate. “I usually take care of the four piles that need to leave the house,” says Mazur. “Clients have found that removing these items is an important part of the overall process.” Next month Mazur is starting a monthly cleaning services in Long Island. This will help her tremendously.
Appointment hours are flexible, including availability on weekends and evenings. The introductory fee is $200 for a two-hour session, with $50 added per additional hour. Dry cleaning and tailoring may be picked up at the store at a later date, says Mazur, and the items sent off for consignment usually enable the client to earn some money for new additions to her wardrobe. Donations are taken to Dress for Success or the Salvation Army.
Mazur grew up in a small village in Cheshire, England, where her love of fashion probably started with her mother, she says. “I was initiated into the amazing world of fashion after graduating from university, when I was able to obtain one of the coveted executive training positions at Harrods, London, where I was appointed to the designer fashion floor.” Mazur was one of only ten people selected from a group of more than 500 after what she describes as “a rigorous application and interview process.” Her success was aided, she says, “by a unique outfit that my mother had designed and knit for me, that helped me stand out from the group and caught the eye of one of the Harrods fashion buyers.”
After moving to this country with her husband and working for several high-end boutiques, the couple settled in his hometown of New Paltz in order to be close to family and friends.
Mazur feels passionately about what the Closet Consultation service gives to women. “A very obvious benefit is the timesaving from the improved organization and the clarification of what to wear when. But on a deeper level, this also allows a woman to clear space, literally and figuratively, to allow her own inner and outer beauty and style to shine forth – to help her to see past the changes that might have happened to her body and self-image to be her own true beautiful self. We help her unify her style and her spirit.”
Closet Consultation with Julie Mazur, by appointment, $200/two hours, $50/additional hour, Rambling Rose Boutique, 73 Main Street, New Paltz; (845) 255-3899, www.ramblingroseboutique.com.