Le Willow 83: Boutique Brings Favorite Vacation Finds
High school sweethearts Christina and John Salierno not only provide Montclair with delicious fresh food, but also decided to try their hand at a clothing boutique, offering unique one-of-a kind collections for men, women and children as well as home goods. Le Willow 83 is located on 83 North Willow Street in Montclair, N.J.
Le Willow 83 opened up two years ago, in May 2013. “It’s the first retail business I’ve ever worked in,” said Christina Salierno. Managing a restaurant as well as a boutique was definitely a challenge at first for the Salierno’s, but they’ve proven that it is definitely do-able and have had great success. When they opened, 80 percent of their clients were excited regulars from their restaurant.
“I was always into fashion since I was a little girl. My neighbor had a fashion magazine and I was just so drawn to it,” said Salierno. Salierno started taking classes at FIT, and would make her own clothing on the side. She moved in with her husband John right after high school. “John and I were always going to events together, and at every event, we always had a planned outfit.”
Le Willow 83 is not just catered to one age group. “I have girls that come in to shop in their early 20’s and then we have moms in their 40’s that come in with their daughters and they end up sharing the clothes that they buy. I try to buy stuff that’s not targeted to one age group, and not considered too trendy,” said Salierno. At Le Willow 83, you can find local brands from New Jersey and New York in addition to a large variety of international brands. “A lot of the lines we carry you can’t find at the mall. There are a lot of good companies out there but they’re not local, so when they come to the states, I make sure to contact them. John and I try to find brands that are popular and are coming up but that people don’t know too much about yet.”
To ensure customer satisfaction, Salierno actually tries on every single piece of her clothing before purchasing them, and even has her husband try some on. She does this to see the style and quality. “I want to make sure it fits right and that people won’t end up returning them,” said Salierno. She was first ordering just by look book and then realized some people weren’t happy with their purchases, so she really tries to get “awesome unique clothing.”
The Salierno’s celebrate Le Willow 83’s anniversary every year by having a fashion show, including a red carpet with live music. Their most recent fashion show was at the Wellmont Theater, where they modeled men and women’s clothing. They have also done block parties in the past where they take everything from inside and bring it outside on racks in front of the boutique for discounted prices. Since the holidays are coming up, the Salierno’s will be doing a coat drive, where people can bring coats into their store and, as a reward, they can get 10 percent off of the food at their restaurant. They are also partnering up with the designer named Satya to do a trunk show, and are planning to start a website where people can online shop for their clothing in the near future. To find more about Le Willow 83, you can visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Lewillow83.