By Rochelle Maruch Miller
Nestled in the heart of Cedarhurst like a precious gem, Secret Me offers shoppers a unique and personal shopping experience. Owners Devorah Iskowitz-Wachsler and Mala Feldstein-Goldberg have redefined shopping for intimate apparel.
Friends since nursery, Devorah and Mala each pursued successful, albeit decidedly different, careers in their professions as a graphic designer at Merrill Lynch and as an assistant principal at a middle school, respectively. When they eventually decided to pool their considerable talents and venture into the business world, it seemed the right time to bring their longtime dream of opening a lingerie store to fruition. Thus, Secret Me was created.
Upscale and charming, warm and welcoming, Secret Me has earned a sterling reputation for superb quality and impeccable service, attracting customers from all over Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston, and Los Angeles. And despite the many options available to them much closer to home, a large number of their shoppers have happily made Secret Me their lingerie boutique of choice, enthusiastically describing the experience as being “different and more personal.” The merchandise is elegantly displayed and they offer a wonderful selection of bras, lingerie, shapewear, sleepwear, hostess gowns, and accessories in all tastes and price ranges. Their chic packaging is seen all over the Avenue on the arms of the most discerning shoppers. They also offer private appointments and a back entrance for those who prefer the additional privacy.
Secret Me’s customer base runs the spectrum, and their selection of merchandise reflects the diversity of their demographic. There is truly something for everyone in this beautiful secret haven in the midst of the Five Towns,
In this interview with the 5TJT, Devorah and Mala discuss the unique aspects of the Secret Me shopping experience.
RMM: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your business?
SML: One of the most wonderful aspects of our business is that we are given many opportunities to help others. Whether it is an anxious bride, a young girl being fitted for the first time, pregnant and nursing moms, or women who are feeling in need of a little makeover, we are able to sensitively and discreetly assist them in finding the perfect fit. We have also witnessed enormous acts of chesed by members of our special community. There have been many times when someone will give us a blank check or a credit card to be used for a bride or another individual. We have seen firsthand the kind deeds and generosity being showered upon others.
RMM: Have you encountered any challenges?
SML: It is challenging to operate a store of our nature in the Five Towns. We are not permitted to display any intimate apparel in the store windows, so passersby often do not know what we sell. We ensure that our windows are elegant and non-revealing. We also merchandise properly so that all customers, regardless of what they are interested in purchasing, feel comfortable in our store. A teenage girl and a young bride are clearly not shopping for the same type of apparel, and we designed the store so that each section offers privacy. This is a very sensitive business. Girls and women are often very insecure about their bodies and we want every customer to leave our store feeling confident and beautiful. Sizing is simply a system of numbers. Beauty is truly from within.
RMM: How do you enhance the comfort level for kallahs and other young girls during their shopping experience?
SML: In addition to providing personal shopping services, we also offer private appointments, both before and after regular store hours. We try to accommodate school and work schedules and provide a special experience. The dressing rooms are all private and outfitted with mirrors. We work closely with many kallah teachers and therapists to ensure that we carry the items they are recommending. We find your comfort zone and work within it to ensure a positive and successful experience.
RMM: What makes Secret Me a stellar shopping experience?
SML: Buying at Secret Me is a full shopping experience. You don’t simply exit with a plastic bag. We offer personal attention, a relaxing ambience, and excellent customer service. We can alter all items to ensure the perfect fit. We are not just “browse and buy”–although we can be if that is what a customer prefers. However, most of our shoppers enjoy the personal attention and assistance. We recommend styles, fabrics, and colors. Sales associates and fitters will not enter a room unless requested by the customer. We do not announce sizes or styles.
RMM: What reaction has Secret Me elicited from customers thus far?
SML: Our customers are fabulous! Not only do they continue to return, but they are always referring us to their friends and family. We have received such positive feedback regarding our customer service and selection. We are an upscale neighborhood boutique, but we cater to all members of the community and offer items in all price ranges. Many of our customers relate to us that they never feel pressured in our store. They know we will offer honest opinions. We are not just looking to “make the sale.” We want you to love your purchase. And on the chance that we do not have what you need at the time, we know that our warm and sincere approach will bring you back again. v
Secret Me Lingerie is located at 440 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. Phone 516-295-4488. They are open Sunday through Friday. “Like” them on Facebook to stay up to date on sales and exclusive offers!