Walking into Denim and Diamondz is a very different experience from, say, entering a store in the mall. Visiting the store earlier this month, I found some very fluffy, comfortable, and inviting furniture scattered throughout the store, and a candy and snack bar sitting against a back wall.
“We wanted to make it a different kind of shopping experience,” says co-owner Erica Green, who notes that the store offers select hair and make-up services alongside their fashion offerings.
Green says that the Denim and Diamondz staff have worked to create a space where shoppers – and particularly people from the surrounding neighborhood – can come in and spend time, even if they don’t buy anything.
The new store opened earlier this year at 2617 East Washington Ave (located near the Milwaukee St intersection across the street from the brand-new Union Corners development) and seeks to fill a niche in Madison’s boutique clothing market.
“Madison has a lack of urban styles,” says assistant manager Kitty Hagen. “We wanted to target younger people with alternative styles, more colors, different types of material.”
It was seeking out those “alternative styles” themselves that drove owners Green, Lakisha Williams and Miranda Briggs to open the store. “We were traveling just for clothes,” says Green. “We don’t have a lot here in Madison.”
The store offers big-city styles, imported from markets like Los Angeles. There’s something for everyone; perusing the store, I found a healthy selection for men, for women and for children.
Hagen, who also serves as brand ambassador for the store, acknowledges that it’s been a little tough bringing in business.
“It’s a climb,” she says. However, she adds, a significant social media following and word-of-mouth advertising have led to more customers in recent months. The store has even had customers come from out of town, from Chicago, Milwaukee, and even Los Angeles.
And, she adds, “We have a lot of loyal repeat customers.”
The store is looking to branch out into hosting and sponsoring events- like a poetry slam, music or social event- to continue spreading their brand.
When discussing what she thought 2018 would hold for Denim and Diamondz, Hagen said that she wasn’t allowed to talk specifics. “But,” she grinned, “you can know that we have big plans for the future.”
Denim and Diamondz can be found on Instagram (@denimanddiamondz) and Facebook