Do you ever have those days where you just know you were in the right place at the right time? I "discovered" my favorite new store IN THE WORLD today. AnaZar Boutique in the Oak Ridge Shopping Center. Love, love, LOVE this store!
I found the store after meeting a friend for lunch. I'm in desperate need of jeans and though I was unfamiliar with the store and actually on my way into Greensboro to shop I thought, "I should check them out."
For the record, I'm easily intimidated in boutiques. I'm fashion challenged and have no idea what goes with what. I so often feel like the sales people in these places are looking at my ho-hum wardrobe and thinking to themselves, "She dared leave the house in that and thinks she's going to shop in MY store? Mm-hmm."
I did feel a little bit that way at first, even though I was given a friendly greeting. It's just that I look at all the cute non-traditional pieces and think, "I have no idea what to do with these." Plus a quick glance at some price tags told me this might be more than I wanted to spend. But I soon discovered this is one of those fun stores that can sell a knock-out $22 blouse right next to a drop-dead gorgeous $180 blouse. We love that.
Still, I probably would have quickly looked around and slunk out the door if the owner, Altynay Hines, hadn't encouraged me to try on a ruffled jacket I was fingering. I fell in love with her (And not just because the jacket was adorable on, thank you very much). I don't think I've ever met a more sincere, cheerful, helpful person in my life. At one point we were talking and I was folding a pair of jeans, buttoning them and not paying close attention, so I struggled for just a moment. "Oh, do you want me to make that buttonhole bigger for you?" she asked, reaching for them. No, but you know what? It was nice to be asked...
I ended up staying in the store for over an hour, trying on different clothes and combinations. This from the woman who HATES shopping. I loved that Altynay was quick to nix a piece that didn't do anything for me. She wouldn't even let me try on one pair of jeans saying, "No. Too short for you."
Altynay is from Kazakhstan and just has fabulous fashion sense. What I admire, and the point of the store, is to make sure you don't see yourself coming and going in the latest Ann Taylor must-have. I got a few very reasonable priced pieces that Altynay showed me how to dress down or dress up and how I can wear them year-round.
I realize this is sounding like a big infomercial, but I just walked away so impressed with this store. It's been there a year and a half and I've never heard of it. How is that possible?? I'm making it my mission of the week to send every friend I have there. PERSONAL shopping at its best, no need to feel intimidated, great prices, unique pieces and the world's cutest little dog named Versace! And Altynay, who I think I may quickly become co-dependant on to dress me.
If you're in the area, check them out in the Oak Ridge Shopping Center across from Oak Ridge Military Academy.
And when you see me next in my hot jeans and adorable ruffled jacket, you'll know where they came from. ;)