SID Spotlight: Klasik Boutique

Klasik Boutique
1667 Irving Street
Wednesday–Friday, 12pm–7pm
Saturday–Sunday, 10am–3pm

Research supports the premise that small businesses drive economic growth. Where owners choose to locate is as important as the service or merchandise provided. More than a monetary investment, they are choosing to become an integral part of the community. A small shop reflects an individual’s energy, ideas and creativity, thus contributing to the culture of a neighborhood. Kakilia Kinsey, Klasik Boutique’s owner, echoes this theory.

The pleasure she derived from experimenting with different styles planted a seed as she helped a friend get ready for a date one evening. It was so much fun that she started having people over to try out new combinations and tailor different looks. She invited a DJ to set a groove and gradually a casual get together with friends became a regular happening. She began to offer a few popular items to sell and when a local author approached her to style her outfit for a book jacket, the idea of opening a shop became more than a thought.

One day while driving through town she thought to herself “Rahway really has a nice down town, this is a hidden gem.” As she approached her destination, a bright light cast a glow on a big FOR RENT sign. As she focused on the building, she clearly envisioned her boutique and knew that this was the right spot. Excitedly she called the landlord, set up an appointment for that evening and right then committed to open her store. Initially she thought she’d give it a year and keep her options open, but has decided to relocate her home and move to this area.

Successful retailing is a two way street. Kakilia listens to her customers and pays attention when people specify preferences. Noting their requests in a black book, she’ll include their suggestions if it complements her current inventory. These conversations can drive some of her stock choices, creating an intimate dynamic between shopkeeper and customer.

Experience has taught her what an enormous task effective marketing is. To improve her skills, she joined a business accelerator program. She plans to expand her selection by creating Rahway centric themes printed onto totes, sweatshirts and pillows. She’d like to integrate internships into her business plan so Klasik Boutique’s presence becomes an active part of the community.