New boutique Envy Fine Clothing in north Fresno is trendy and mom-and-kid friendly.
The clothing and accessories store at 7969 N. Blackstone Ave. opened recently in the Villaggio shopping center next to Cold Stone Creamery.
It’s the fourth location in the Valley for Atwater-based owner Darlene Dover, who also has stores in Turlock and Modesto. She’s a mom of five, a role that clearly influences her business. All her stores have play areas for children, a feature she stumbled into while nursing her son when she opened her first store. She kept toys and other kid accessories on hand for her and her son, but soon found small children who came in with their customer moms gravitated toward the spot, too.
The Fresno store has a train table and play kitchen inside a gated area so moms can shop while children play.
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But there’s a lot more going on at Envy. The small store carries women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing. The styles are casual and dressy, but not formal. The store is big on trends and uses social media in selling its clothes. Some of what you’ll find at Envy:
• “Wet leggings.” These are leggings that are shiny and look wet, often made of pleather.
• Floppy hats. These felt-like big-brimmed hats are hugely popular and come in a range of colors from fuschia to black.
• Mother-daughter outfits. Moms can shop for a kid and themselves with matching outfits. They’re not all matchy-matchy either. Some tunics have lacy sleeves, but come in different shades of gray, for example.
• Sweatshirts that hold your beer. A Farm Boy brand black sweatshirt with the words “Party on” and “Tailgate” on it has an insulated pocket in front to hold a beer. The sweatshirt also comes with a bottle opener.
• Premium denim, including the popular Miss Me brand with blinged-out pockets.
The stores keep in touch with customers via text messages, with 20,000 customers from all four stores getting weekly texts about sales. Customers sign up for the list by sending a text to 313131 with “Envy Fresno” in the body of the message and are entered in a $50 gift card drawing each week.
All this technology translates into sales for the store. Customers who see images online or on their phones often call in to buy the item, paying with credit cards over the phone. Those calls make up about 15% to 20% of Envy’s business, Dover said. Some buy clothes without trying them on, relying upon the store’s 14-day return policy that allows customers to exchange it for store credit.
Envy also offers free layaway, as long as customers put 20% down and pay it off within 90 days.
Details: (559) 431-3689.