7/18 Biz column: Two new boutiques in Saratoga to focus on the ladies
|Chic Underneath owners Lauren Plasencia & Kailyn McLaughlin|
The first to open is Chic Underneath on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street, followed by Fiat Feminae at 489 Broadway.
Mechanicville natives and childhood friends Lauren Plasencia and Kailyn McLaughlin are the faces behind Chic Underneath, a combination lingerie shop and waxing boutique located inside a historic building at 7 Spring St.
“Lauren and I have always lingerie-shopped together and we never really found anything we love or was good quality — and at Victoria’s Secret almost everything has ‘PINK’ written on the butt,” McLaughlin said of the owners’ motivation to open Chic Underneath.
When McLaughlin became a licensed “waxer,” or esthetician, she and Plasencia developed a creative business plan to open a full-service waxing and lingerie boutique in Saratoga Springs.
“We’ve always wanted to do this together and we thought it would be great to combine waxing and lingerie,” McLaughlin said.
The store carries more than 10 lines of undergarments and specializes in plus-size lingerie and maternity wear. McLaughlin also said that Chic Underneath will soon carry a line of mastectomy wear, in honor of her mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.
“We wanted to create a spot where women can shop in a judgment-free zone,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a place where women can get their lingerie, get a bikini wax to get set for the weekend and just feel comfortable about it.”
In addition to waxing services (McLaughlin does everything from bikini lines to eyebrows), Chic Underneath will also offer extras like bra fittings and personal shopping consultations.
After months of renovations, McLaughlin and Plasencia opened Saturday, marking the first in a series of local events that celebrate the women of Saratoga Springs.
Like the owners of Chic Underneath, Lisa Alden also helps boost women’s confidence by making them feel sexy with her new lingerie boutique, Fiat Feminae, which will begin its slow opening Friday. Alden will host an exclusive “first peak” event at 9 a.m. in which guests will be able to preview some of the products and collections that Fiat Feminae will carry.
Alden will also host a “Cocktail and Corsets” party that evening at Duo Lounge at 175 S. Broadway that will feature a cocktail hour followed by DJ entertainment and a fashion show where models will preview Fiat Feminae’s chic collections.
These two preview events will build up to the official grand opening
Aug. 5, where guests will receive a complimentary gift from the shop’s collections. Following the grand opening, Alden will also host a champagne-themed launch party called “Bustiers and Bubbles” at the Paddock Lounge on Caroline Street.
Alden, a Saratoga Springs native, first thought of the idea for Fiat Feminae three years ago, but it wasn’t until she hosted a June preview event that she realized it was time to follow through with her dream.
“I got inundated with emails and phone calls from women asking me to open in Saratoga, saying there was no place to shop outside of Victoria’s Secret,” Alden said. “I realized then this was a sign and I decided to go with it.”
Alden’s vision for Fiat Feminae is to go beyond ordinary and offer women high-end lines of intimate wear that they can’t get at other undergarment chains like Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood.
“I wanted to bring in something you would see and go, ‘Wow,’ ” Alden said. “I want a place where the collections and the colors would pop and it almost makes you feel the sensuality just by looking at it. It’s sophisticated and classy, but has an edgy sexiness to it.”
Fiat Feminae will feature intimate wear, teddies, chemises, hosiery and a line of corsets designed by Alden, and will also carry exclusive European collections and designer brands featured on the hit CW TV show “Gossip Girl.”
Alden, who lives with her fiancé and two children, also finds time to balance her corporate career, managing a payroll company with her passion for lingerie design. But down the line, Alden said she hopes to leave the corporate world in order to focus on her new business.
“I feel that women are too often made to feel bad about wanting to dress a little sexy and feel good about themselves — they should dress however they want,” Alden said of the Fiat Feminae mission.
Between the Chic Underneath and Fiat Feminae openings, something will be available to meet every woman’s needs, and with Plasencia, McLaughlin and Alden at the helm, one thing is certain, these local entrepreneurs help women of all ages, shapes and sizes to find own their sensuality and walk with confidence.
“I want all women to feel good — I want them to try on the collections and leave knowing they have something that will make them feel good, sexy and confident whenever they wear it,” Alden said about Fiat Feminae.
Down the road on Spring Street, McLaughlin and Plasencia have a similar goal for Chic Underneath.
“We want all women to feel comfortable, confident and just have a great experience while in our store,” McLaughlin said.