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Hammond boutique offers trendy, affordable fashion

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IF YOU GO

Sleek-N-Chic Boutique

5252 Hohman Ave., Hammond

455-4999

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Updated: November 30, 2013 7:52PM



After working for other businesses, both large and small, Robin Galindo and Doug LeDay have decided to put into action their dream of becoming business owners. The young couple from Calumet City recently opened Sleek-N-Chic Boutique in downtown Hammond.

Many items in the store are new, with some gently-used.

“I love to shop at small boutiques and vintage stores,” Galindo said. “And I want to give that same experience to our customers.”

After securing a lease from the owner of the building, which also houses three additional companies, interior work was on the agenda.

Restoration was a challenge, according to LeDay. “We had to take out the dropped ceiling and work on the walls and the floor,” he said. “It took us about two months.”

Previously LeDay, who has a degree in finance, worked in various banking positions; Galindo was a manager for a shopping mall clothing store.

About six months ago, they decided to put their sense of fashion and experience with customer service to the test by starting a business.

“Fashion is trendy and it never stops,” LeDay said. “Most people who are into fashion want exclusive, affordable items. And that’s exactly what we have to offer.”

Galindo has a penchant for organization, and although the new store doesn’t include a lot of square footage, everything is neat, clean and in place.

“I wash, press and steam up anything we need to make our store look nice,” she said.

Promotion and marketing are the biggest challenges in starting a new company, according to the boutique owners.

“We are on Facebook and handing out flyers and cards,” LeDay said. “We don’t have a machine behind us to build a base, groundwork, or our reputation — we have to do that ourselves — but we are meeting the challenge.”

Along one wall in the new store, an exhibit of unique bracelets, necklaces and earrings, fashioned by LeDay’s mother Cassandra LeDay-Weber, can be found for jewelry lovers.

Galindo’s mother Pat Galindo doesn’t have items for sale in the store, but is nevertheless close by — she owns the haircutting shop next door.

And Galindo continues to work part time for her. “I’m also a nail technician and worked for my mom before we opened the boutique,” she said. “So I help out when she needs me.”

LeDay has no problem watching the boutique during those times.

“This new business is a labor of love for both of us,” he said. “We’re not fulfilling someone else’s dream — we’re fulfilling our own.”



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