Photo by Jay Paul
Growing up in Wyndham, Mimi Tanaka witnessed Glen Allen’s retail rise firsthand. “I watched everything get developed,” she says. So when she was looking to open Alice McQueen Consignment, West Broad Village seemed like the best fit. “It was a really strategic place in terms of Burger Bach being open so late,” says Tanaka, 24, adding that her shop is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. “We get a ton of women from [the ACAC] gym, and moms who are walking with their strollers always pop in. It’s a high-traffic area.”
After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 with a business degree, Tanaka weighed the pros and cons of working for someone else or opening her own business. “I’ve always loved fashion,” she says. “It was kind of a risk, but I decided you’re only young once, so why not go for it?”
The 2,000-square-foot boutique between Which Which sandwich shop and 3Sports triathlon store used to be a frozen yogurt bar. Tanaka renovated the interior before the grand opening on June 28 to reflect a clean, sleek atmosphere. “I went with white because I wanted the clothes to stand out,” she says of the boutique’s whitewashed fixtures and smooth gray wood flooring.
The store’s name pays homage to Tanaka’s favorite contemporary label, Alice + Olivia, and her favorite luxury designer, Alexander McQueen. Other labels at the upscale resale shop include Gucci, Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg. Alice McQueen carries women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, and it accepts gently worn clothing for consignment, but Tanaka, who is 5 feet tall, always has to have her pants hemmed, so she chose not to carry long pants in her shop. “I want people to come in here and try something on and really feel fabulous,” she says. 364-1500 or alicemcqueenconsignment.com.