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Shop Cheap, Look Fab

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Megan Healy (left) and Amy Trelenberg say short skirts, minidresses, and all things bright and yellow will be in fashion this summer. Photograph by Luigi CiuffetelliIt’s pretty fabulous being Mamie.

Just ask Megan Healy and Amy Trelenberg, whose fashion senses (and first names) harmonize gorgeously in the form of flirty frocks, silk tops and classic pieces like second-skin tissue tees and fitted LBDs.

The best part?

These stylish BFFs are staring down the recession from behind voguish shades. Every item at Wilmington-based shopmamie.com is under $100.

“Growing up, we’d spend so much time shopping,” says Trelenberg, who, with Healy, graduated from Archmere Academy. “But we noticed
everything that we loved was so expensive.”

“Right,” interjects Healy, the blonde foil to Trelenberg’s brunette. “So we said one day we’d open a store with stylish but affordable clothes.”

After both girls found themselves disinterested at work—Trelenberg at an accounting firm and Healy in medical sales—the digital divas said enough was enough.

“We were like, ‘How did we get here?’” Trelenberg says. “We had so much passion and creativity.”

One Borders trip later—“We bought every book we could on how to write a business plan,” Healy says—the girls dove headfirst into living their dream.

The result was an impressive manifesto that the duo unsuccessfully shopped around for a loan. “People who didn’t know us would ask about our Ph.D.s,” Trelenberg says. “We’d say, ‘No. We’re just two 24-year-old girls.’”

Just two girls who took an extreme leap of faith by spending their life’s savings and entering retail with the rumblings of a recession shaking beneath their Coach flats.

Page 2: Shop Cheap, Look Fab, continues…

 

“It was scary,” says Healy. But, nearly a year after their first show left women fervidly combing the racks, they’ve made it.

The two often scour L.A.’s Market for finds. “We use a combination of our styles to shop,” Healy says.

Asked to describe their individual style, eyes and smiles meet over a cherry-wood pub table. “We’re better at describing the other’s style,” Healy says with a laugh. Trelenberg likes to funk things up and stays trendy, digs the boho look, but avoids earth tones. Healy leans conservative, girly and classic. “I add a feminine touch to everything,” she says. “You won’t catch me in trendy menswear, but you would Amy.”

The two aren’t label-oriented, but do have their favorites. Trelenberg loves Marchesa, Healy votes Chanel, though they agree no one makes a woman feel like a woman better than DVF.

Their summer style forecast is short, with a 100 percent chance of glow. “Short skirts, minidresses and all things bright and yellow,” Healy says.
 

“We balance each other,” Amy Trelenberg says. “If I pick out something wild and crazy, Megan will say, ‘Look, I like it, but it’s not going to sell.’ We feed off each other.”

“Don’t forget the maxi,” Trelenberg says. “I love the maxi dress.” The girls also predict a spike in rompers and jumpsuits. “It’s not for everyone,” Trelenberg says. “But we should push the envelope sometimes.”

The beauty of Mamie is the girls’ give-and-take approach.

“We balance each other,” Trelenberg says. “If I pick out something wild and crazy, Megan will say, ‘Look, I like it, but it’s not going to sell.’ We feed off each other.”

The hunger is certainly spreading, all the way to California. “We have a weird pocket of business in Monterrey,” Trelenberg says. “We have no idea why.”
We’re pretty sure we do—it’s hard for a gal to keep a fashion find as sweet as this to herself.
 

Page 3: Time to Shine | A local jeweler earns a national honor.

 

Carl Doubét Hendry displays his best jeweler plaque.Time to Shine

A local jeweler earns a national honor.

Carl Doubét Hendry voices his own radio spots, urging men to profess their love by buying jewelry instead of walking on hot coals.

But the ads are superfluous. Delawareans already know Carl Doubét Jr. Jewelers. It’s been in business for 70 years. When the Greenville shop earned the America’s Best Jeweler Award from National Jeweler magazine in January, that reputation went global.

Hendry accepted the Debbie Brooks-designed award during the National Jeweler Network’s Winter Show in New York. (Brooks designs Michelle Obama’s handbags.) The business earned kudos for customer satisfaction, efficient operations and effective sales strategies.

Industry pros gathered to hear Hendry and other panelists discuss everything from marketing to ethics. “It was a very sparkly crowd,” he says. “And what an amazing honor.”
What an achievement.

“With the jewelry industry facing more challenges than ever, National Jeweler saw the need for a program to serve as a benchmarking tool for today’s progressive retail jeweler,” says publisher Chris Casey. “The jewelers selected will be an inspiration to retailers who are stymied by today’s economic challenges.”

Hendry credits his family: his great grandfather Carl Doubét, who started his business in 1895 in Washington, D.C.; his grandfather, Carl Doubét Jr., who brought it to Wilmington in 1938; his mother, Nola Doubét Hendry, an American Gem Society certified gemologist—an honor just 5 percent of industry pros nationwide have earned; and her husband, Frank T. Hendry, the numbers man.

There is a family member in the store at all times, “and that’s the key to success,” says Hendry. “But what really matters is the trust we’ve built with customers.”  —Maria Hess

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