Closet Candy Boutique Celebrates Grand Opening In Clay Terrace
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Amy Payne
When Chad and Christina Smith first met, Chad was selling BMWs and Christina was a business manager of a furniture company. They married, had two sons (now 15 and 9), and, in the back of their minds, dreamed of one day working together. They just didn’t know how that would all come to fruition.
Five years ago, while living in Arizona, Christina posted a few pictures on Facebook at a tanning salon where she worked and people started contacting her with inquires on where they could buy the clothing they spotted in the photos.
“I was familiar with the business side of things, so I started analyzing what customers were drawn to and why,” Christina says. “Meanwhile, Chad has a technical background, so we decided to launch an online store as a way to make some extra cash.”
Customers at the salon modeled the clothes and on Black Friday 2012, the Smiths launched their online store Closet Candy Boutique.
“We thought we’d do this on the side, but in the span of 60 days, it took over our lives,” Christina says. “It was insane the way it took off.”
Closet Candy primarily sells comfortable everyday women’s clothing. Maxi dresses are a hot seller in the summer while boots, leggings and cardigans are popular pieces in the fall.
“Our customers like that sweet spot price point — the $29 top and the $40 dress,” Christina says. “So, that’s where we try to stay.”
Last month, the couple broadened their scope by opening a brick-and-mortar store in Carmel. Though they have plans to ultimately open stores across the country, they wanted to open their first one here in Indiana because Chad hails from Kokomo and attended Purdue.
“We like the vibe of Clay Terrace, where people can make a day of it with shopping and grabbing lunch,” Christina says. “Plus, this location caters to both the local community and to our online customers who are willing to drive a distance to see us.”
Though the online store only sells clothing, the 1,800 square-foot Carmel building will also offer a variety of gift and home good items, including soaps, lotions, makeup and champagne flutes.
When designing the space, the couple made sure the dressing rooms accommodated customers’ ability to feel good about themselves.
“Nothing’s worse than trying on something in bad lighting and thinking, ‘Do I really look this pale and heavy?’ You walk out feeling badly about yourself,” Christina says. “That’s not the experience I wanted our customers to ever have.”
So, the Smiths installed LED backlit mirrors in the dressing rooms to create the perfect lighting. In addition, the Smiths recognized the selfie craze of today’s generation, so outside the dressing rooms is a massive 10 ft. x 5 ft. mirror. And behind that, a beautiful watercolor mural — the ideal photo backdrop.
The couple, passionate about charity work, is eager to share their good fortune with organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Feed My Starving Children and Wheeler Mission.
“Last year we donated nearly $40,000 of clothing and shoes to Wheeler Mission,” Christina says. “We love that they are a faith-based charity that does so much for this community. We’re motivated to do more so that we can give more.”
For more info on Closet Candy Boutique visit them online at closetcandy.com or give them a call at 317-804-5358.