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The definition of “posh” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “elegant, fashionable, typical of or intended for the upper class.”
Courtney Leonberger, the owner of Posh Boutique on 40 East Market Street in Corning, New York, definitely had this description in mind when she named her new clothing store.
“I have had such great feedback from customers,” Courtney said. “People tell me that I have items that they would expect to see in New York City or Los Angeles. It is really a big compliment because that is what I wanted to achieve.”
Courtney, who was a hairdresser on Market Street in Corning for the past eighteen years, had to transition into a new career when a chemical allergy that she developed prevented her from cutting hair on a regular basis.
“That is how the store came to be, because you cannot live off of working only two days a week as a hairdresser,” Courtney said. “It was natural for me. I always had an interest in fashion and I always loved to shop.”
Courtney felt that clothing options for women in their twenties up through middle ages were lacking in the area. And so, in May 2012, she opened the doors of Posh.
“There are stores for young girls and then there are a lot of things for my mother. There is this big gap in-between. I thought it was something that was needed here. I think Posh compliments Corning’s Market Street because it is a little boutique-like shop,” Courtney said. “I think it is a quaint street.”
Not forgetting about her first love, Courtney has a small salon at the back of the shop, where she cuts hair for two days a week. Her friend and fellow hair cutter, Jeremy Grimins, takes the rest of the appointments.
“It made sense to put a salon in the back. That way I can always be there,” Courtney said.
Many of the items in Posh Boutique were picked by Courtney from showrooms in New York City and Las Vegas.
Courtney’s own motto for her store is “A style, a fit, and a price for everyone,” and it shows through her products, which are a wide range of clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories.
“A misconception is that a lot of people think that the clothing is for young girls, both style and size-wise. We have something for everyone, though, and we are looking to expand our size range,” Courtney said. “I would say my typical customers are mid-twenties to sixties. That is the age range I was looking to fill.”
Courtney’s favorite items in her store are the jeans, but she admits that most times it is hard to pick.
“The thing that I wanted to make sure that I had when I opened the store was high-end denim. People love good jeans and they are really hard to find around here. I myself would have to travel to Rochester and other larger cities just to find good jeans,” Courtney said. “I love our denim. I love the patterns on our jeans, which are trending for spring and summer. We also get great dresses in. We have casual dresses that you can wear in the day and cocktail dresses that you can wear to a party. It is hard to narrow it down, though, because we also get really great pieces of jewelry and shoes.”
Budget shoppers, don’t fear! Clothing in Posh comes with a price tag that can work for everybody.
“We have jeans that are at the higher price point, but we do also have tops that are only $15. There is a wide price range and a wide range of styles. We keep more trendy stuff that my younger customers would like, but there are also conservative blazers and things that my corporate client could wear.”
Everything that shoppers see in the store, Courtney picked out herself.
“I go to show rooms in New York City and order there. I also go to shows in Las Vegas to do my buying. It is definitely fun, but, yes, it is overwhelming,” Courtney said.
Last year, Courtney attended a show called Magic Marketplace in Las Vegas. There were over 5,500 designers there.
“You have to go with a plan and know what you are looking for, otherwise you can get totally distracted,” Courtney said.
“Yes, I gravitate towards what I like, but not everyone has the same style that I do, so I have taught myself to broaden my horizons a bit. Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean other people won’t. I think I have the intuition at knowing what will be hot in the next few seasons, but magazines and television helps,” Courtney said.
Retail Therapy Parties, which are private events for someone who would like to shop with four to twenty friends, puts Posh Boutique a step up in the unique direction. The store is opened after hours for the party, and everything in the store is discounted. The hostess will receive a gift certificate to the store for a percentage of the party’s sales.
“People should definitely shop local and support the small businessperson. We offer a variety that is hard to find around here. We offer unique and unexpected things,” Courtney said.