Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Laney’s Closet In Agoura Hills

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Laney Vivo in the boutique space Laney’s Closet in Agoura Hills, a fashion lover’s find for swapping clothes. (Photo Credit: Melissa Curtin)

When I first heard of Laney’s Closet in Agoura Hills, I literally thought it was going to be a closet in someone’s home. To my surprise, there was a discreet sign on a country road that lead me to a beautiful space with gardens, a fountain and the gorgeously decorated boutique store filled with every fashionable find you could want – evening dresses, high end shoes, so many blouses to choose from, a plethora of jeans, tops in every color, size and style. Shopping heaven. I spotted so many things I wanted to take home. Some of the brands in the closet include 7 for all Mankind, Chloe, Coach, Cole Haan, Ella Moss, Free People, Hale Bob, Hudson, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Michael Stars.

Lovely Laney Vivo, part Dutch and once living in Hawaii, greeted me in an adorable jean ruffled dress. Her motto: Smile, Laugh, Be Beautiful. A breast cancer survivor, owner and stylist Laney has over 12 years of experience in the fashion industry and last year decided to open up her very own boutique with a twist! Laney’s Closet, an upscale “swapinista” boutique filled with fabulous designer pieces, hopes to capitalize on the recent “clothing swap” trend. Laney was able to create a special place for the budget conscious fashionista. Members enjoy unlimited access to refreshing their wardrobe with high-end designer pieces without breaking the bank.

Laney’s exclusive members-only fashion club, like a celebrity closet, offers members access to unlimited swapping within the closet for a monthly fee of $69.95 and they can cancel at any time. New items as well as items that look like new are in the space from other member’s closets. Members are entitled to unlimited swapping and can then bring their never worn or gently worn high-end fashion items to the closet for an appraisal and swapping appointment. Vivo has an eye for fashion and evaluates each item herself.  Her selection process is thorough, as she wants to limit the closet to upscale fashion only. If accepted, items are given a credit value. Once inside the closet no money is exchanged, any item can be swapped for credits. For instance, a member might earn 1,000 points for bringing in a dress and a couple pairs of jeans. Those points allow the member to use those points to swap what they like.

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Laney’s Closet, a member’s only private shopping experience where members can use points to swap clothes each month. (Photo Credit: Melissa Curtin)

Members make private appointments guaranteeing they can swap at their leisure without the hustle and bustle of additional shoppers in a busy boutique. Laney even helps style customers. With her years of styling experience, she is on hand to lend her expertise to the swapping experience. Often women don’t want to share their love of this concept because they want to keep it a secret that they are not constantly buying new outfits, but wearing new finds from Laney’s Closet.

Laney definitely has an eye for detail as the space is arranged beautifully with artsy decor, and it is easy to access what type of clothing you are looking for – whether it be a hip leather jacket, jewelry, flowy white blouses, black tops, casual tank tops and so on. I left with my new favorite casual summer outfit – yellow jeans from Bianco, leather sandals with circular copper tops by Bernardo and a white Michael Starrs tank top with little ruffles. Laney treated me like one of the customers, boxing my brand new shoes and carefully wrapping both my items in a dress bag. Laney’s Closet also hosts private Girl’s Night Out fashion events teaming with other designers to hold fashion shows and trunk shows.

“I believe the Laney’s Closet concept is unique in the fact that it is not retail. Once a member, clients are regularly updating their wardrobes without spending any money. I promise, that perfect blouse is even more perfect when paired with the fierce shoes you bought with the money you saved! It is a rewarding and enjoyable swapping experience because not only do members have exclusive access to upscale clothing without breaking the bank but they are also helping the environment by getting on board with the clothing swap experience,” said Laney.

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Laney’s Closet in Agoura Hills (Photo Credit: Melissa Curtin)

Laney spoke of her desire to give back and make a difference being a breast cancer survivor. Laney’s Closet donates to “Breast Cancer Awareness” by donating to Susan G Komen and The National Breast Cancer Foundation. Laney mentioned how she is putting together a team for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Thousand Oaks on August 10. She has 12 friends on her team and is looking for more.

“The Laney’s Closet experience is an added bonus to members’ everyday boutique shopping. It isn’t meant to replace their favorite boutiques, just supplement their overall upscale boutique shopping experience. I like to say it is just adding swapping to your shopping!,” said Laney. She hopes to open another Laney’s Closet in Orange County.

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Owner and stylist Laney Vivo with writer Melissa Curtin (Photo Credit: Melissa Curtin)

To find out more about Laney’s Closet or to become a member visit laneyscloset.com. It is as easy as 1,2,3.

1. Join

2. Schedule

3. Swap

WHERE:
Laney’s Closet

28351 Agoura Road, Suite B
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Ph: (805) 390-6277

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