A graceful exit for Valley Chic Boutique
November 10, 2006
Known for its sequined party dresses and large selection of glittering costume jewelry, Valley Chic Boutique is throwing its last holiday sale extravaganza.
The Carson Mall store will close in early January after 11 years in business. The owners will retire to the warmer climate of Sedona, Ariz.
Valley Chic’s closure brought Mary Pierczynski to tears inside the store Friday afternoon. The school district superintendent has shopped at the boutique for 10 years.
“They’re not just business owners, they’re friends,” she said. “They’ve been part of our community and supported it.”
Pierczynski’s husband will have to buy her holiday gift cards some place else.
Joanne Cruz, 33, bought her wedding dress at Valley Chic about a week ago, just missing the 25 percent off sale.
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“But they were great here. Two employees spent an hour and a half on me,” said Cruz, who is getting married Nov. 18. “You can go to major chains, even in Sacramento, and you don’t get one-on-one service like that.”
Many Carson City women have picked out their wedding dresses or “mother-of-the-bride” outfits at Valley Chic. Dresses are high priced and high class. Owner Marion Engel said her boutique attracts women looking for an outfit for a special occasion. Most of the time she’ll only see a customer once a year. She still remembers faces and names.
“It’s not everyday clothing,” said the 61-year-old fashionista. “Our clothes are one of a kind.”
She and her husband, Hadji Engel, operated the business in Minden previously for five years. They have lived in Zephyr Cove for 44 years.
Engel said closing has nothing to do with competition from big-box stores or the new Summit Sierra shopping center in South Reno. Their revenue has increased every year, she said. Six part-time employees will also be retiring, or looking elsewhere.
She doesn’t know when a new business will replace them in the South Carson Street mall. Carson Mall executives could not be reached for comment.
“We just made the decision a week ago,” Engel said. “Our lease was coming up, so we decided it was time.”
Everything is from 25 percent to 75 percent off, from a red kimono jacket to the light fixtures.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.