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Boutique picks the best for customers

The Hidden Closet specializes in fashionable yet modest clothing for the mature shopper

Michelle Christiansen knows what women want to wear.

In many cases, she said, it isn't the clothes you find at big department stores.

So three years ago Christiansen opened her own women's clothing store, The Hidden Closet, a 600-square-foot shop that caters to women.

Located at 283 S. Mountain Road in Fruit Heights, the store sells what Christiansen calls "fashionable yet modest clothing."

"My big thing is customer service," Christiansen said. "I have ladies that will come in only when I'm there. I keep track of what they buy."

The store carries lines like Telluride, Susan Bristol, Foxcroft and Brighton.

It cost Christiansen $40,000 in start-up costs to open the business. Last year revenues reached $145,000. This year she thinks revenues will top $175,000.

"The buyers for department stores are not local," Christiansen said. "I hear a lot of complaints, even about Nordstrom, where customers go in there and they can't find anything that they would wear."

Aside from dresses, skirts and sweaters, Christiansen carries Ryan Michael, a denim line she considers one of the best.

"Women love the fit," Christiansen said. "It's not a junior's fit. It's for a woman's body."

Clothing sizes range from size 2 to 16.

Robyn Austin of Layton said she shops at The Hidden Closet about once a week.

"Sometimes you might pay a little bit more, but the quality is better," Austin said. "It is different than what is in the department stores. She carries Brighton jewelry, belts and purses, and I like that. It's just a unique place to shop."

Christiansen started the business as a way to help pay for her family's expenses. She has four children.

"If I like a piece of clothing, I don't order 20 pieces of it," she said. "I'll order eight pieces of it, and that way your neighbor doesn't have it.

"The market is not saturated by what I buy, because I don't buy in large enough numbers. And people like that. They like knowing that they're going to be unique."

The Hidden Closet is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.