Do you ever wonder about the back story of your favorite shops? Who owns them? Why did they decide to open them?
I wondered this about one of my favorite Teaneck clothing boutiques, Carly’z Craze on Cedar Lane. Carly’z Craze offers fun, fashionable and modest clothing for girls, teens and women, plus great jewelry and accessories. Currently stocked to the rafters with amazing back-to-school finds, this shop instantly brought back the familiarity of shopping with my mom in Brooklyn as a kid. I remember digging through racks and racks of skirts and cute tops to find exactly the ones that I knew I couldn’t live without and then having to ask for it in my size and getting it pulled for me, from the back, still wrapped, all shiny and new, in its manufacturer’s packaging.
I sat down with the owners, Alene Brodsky and Wendy Borodkin to get the low-down on this popular local destination.
Q: What was your mission when you decided to open a clothing store in Teaneck?
Wendy: We really felt there was a need for versatile, modest clothes at affordable prices. We wanted to service the community and make it easy to find clothing that conforms to the school dress codes, great Yom Tov and Shabbat apparel and offers fun, colorful accessorizing options.
Q: Do you have a background in the clothing industry?
Alene: I had worked in the garment industry for nearly 20 years. I did everything from design to production and sales. I stopped doing that full-time after my third child was born and did all types of interesting jobs locally for a number of years. One of those jobs was as a part-time local sales rep for Kosher Casual Apparel. I knew there was a market and need for this type of clothing here in Teaneck/Bergen County and wanted to create a fun, ‘neighborhoody’ space for people.
Wendy: Alene and I met while collaborating to create the Carlebach Minyan in Teaneck. (That’s where the name “Carly” comes from!) I’ve always worked in the nonprofit world and continue to do so. My business skills, along with Alene’s vast experience in the garment industry, seemed like a perfect fit. We complement each other very well. In December 2011, we opened our doors and we haven’t looked back!
Q: Can you tell me a bit more about your merchandise selection?
Wendy: Right now we are full of back-to-school options. Usually we rotate the school clothes to make way for the holiday items. Because the beginning of school and the holidays are overlapping this year, we’ve selected Yom Tov items making extra sure they meet or exceed our clientele’s expectations in quality, design and price. We also carry an incredibly wide variety of easy-wear affordable skirts, in every size, style and color imaginable. We have a large assortment of skirts under $25.
Alene: People are always popping in and asking for unique items and accessories, so we do our best to bring in the basics and also things with a little flair. We always like to carry items that are fun and funky and you won’t find elsewhere. In addition, we have the dress codes of every school in the area on file. (Alene knows them by heart!) We make sure to carry enough options to accommodate all the variations for all the schools and their various ages, and are always happy to help customers select the best items for their schools, needs and body type.
Q: What brands and products do you carry?
Alene: We are always looking for new stuff, but you can drop in and find a variety of brands that carry school and casual skirts and tops from brands like Kosher Casual, Kiki Riki, Junee and a new line we’re carrying, Anita G, that has some great fun print skirts. Miss Meme is also great for a wide variety of pencil skirts in yummy colors.
Wendy: We also carry Shabbat clothes from an Israeli boutique company called Ayin Shlisheet. One of our best sellers are our Sarah Kety onesies with fun sayings for babies. They start at $18 and are a perfect gift. You’ll also find a ton of headbands from Perfectly Purple and we recently started carrying Synthetic Hair accessories from Adorabelle. Those have been moving like hotcakes!
Alene: We keep our eyes open and try to bring in local artists and designers to keep our assortments really personal and interesting.
Q: Where can we find you?
You can find us online at http://carlyzcraze.com/ and on Facebook or swing by in person at 398 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666
Pop in for the latest in trendy clothing for work or everyday, school, special occasions and, depending on the season, even exercise or swim wear. Say hi and introduce yourself, we love to connect with people in the community and meet our customers!