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Wednesday, December 19,2012

New in town

Coco's off the Rack

by ALLAN I. ROSS
In the world of fashion, the seasons are all messed up. Itīs the beginning of winter, but for high schoolers, it’s almost time to start looking for prom dresses. If you’re a spring bride-to-be, well, if you don’t have your dress in the alteration stage, you’re already behind schedule. 

But Colleen Adams, who opened the specialty women’s clothing store Coco’s off the Rack last month in East Lansing, is helping realign the outside world to the fashion scene. Coco’s is an eclectic boutique, featuring formal women’s clothing, including bridal wear and prom dresses — most of which are ready-to-wear. Procrastinators rejoice.

“This is the kind of shop you can walk in and find something right there on the rack,” Adams says. “Or if you need anything tailored, we actually do alterations in-house, so we can usually have that done within three days.” 

Adams’ shop features both local and international designers, all of which she selects from national fashion shows. In the last month alone, she’s been to Atlanta and Chicago to see what’s coming down the pipe. 

“I do all my own buying — I like to get a feel for the new items that are coming out so I know what the customers I’ll be working with will like,” she says. “The items we have at Coco’s are things you just can’t find going into a Macy’s. These are unique.”

Adams says she’s been in retail for over 30 years, including owning a specialty knit shop in Flint and working for The Carriage Shop, an upscale women’s clothier in Grand Blanc. In that time, she says she’s honed her craft and developed the skills to satisfy her customers. 

“I can look at someone and know instantly how to fit her perfectly into an outfit and how to accessorize it,” she says. “We help women find things that will go into their closet and be just the thing that works every time. That’s what’s different about Coco’s — we don’t just sell clothes; we know how to make you look great.” 

She said although she tries to include many high-end labels, she has made sure to keep the pricing reasonable.  

“Smart shoppers expect to pay more if it’s something they want, but the prices won’t be as high as someplace like Somerset (Collection),” Adams said. “We want to stay as accessible as possible.”  

If you’re still looking for something for that fashionista on your holiday shopping list, Adams says that Coco’s has many platinum jewelry items that are in right now. The store also features hand-woven silk scarves, jewelry and legging pants, which are all the rage. 

Adams says she’s dedicated to being a dynamic part of the community, and that means giving back. She has reserved space inside the store for her charitable pet project, Consignments for a Cause. 

“It’s set up for people to donate their gently used higher-end items, and the sale of these items is then donated to local nonprofits that help young women who are struggling with adverse situations,” Adams said. “It allows me to do something outside of just running a business. I think that’s a critical part of being a business owner.” 

Benevolence is always in season.


Coco’s Off the Rack
3320 E. Lake Lansing Road
East Lansing
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Closed Sunday
(517) 708-8434
cocosofftherack.com

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