gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 47

A moretto is Italian for “love,” and if you haven’t discovered Amoretto Boutique in downtown Gilroy, get ready to fall in love. This unique shop offers a wide array of fashionable clothing and accessories, as well as an affordable line of furniture. The eclectic display of merchandise reflects shop owner Sandra Castaneda’s passion for interior design, which she says has always been a part of her life. In October of 2010, Amoretto Boutique first opened its doors. At the time, the 900 square foot store was located on Eigleberry and Fifth Street and had a limited offering of jewelry and accessories. “We wanted to start very small, just to give it a try,” Castaneda said regarding the business venture she and her sister, Hilda Castaneda, launched together. As much as she enjoyed her new business, the store’s location was far from ideal, and offered very little foot traffic. The business survived but Castaneda wondered if she could improve on her success in a new location. Three years later, Castaneda noticed that a downtown storefront nearly double the size of her current shop was available for lease, and the idea of relocating the boutique became a possibility. Castaneda had reservations about the move, wondering if she had the inventory to fill the new space, so she consulted with her sister. Hilda, who is not only Castaneda’s business partner, but owns a furniture store with her husband, offered her sister three words of advice. “Go for it.” In November of 2013, Amoretto Boutique reopened its doors; this time at 7490 Monterey Street. “It’s a lifestyle store, we have a little bit of everything, and it’s everything that women love, whether it’s for ourselves, or our home,” Castaneda said. So what could be better than a store that offers all this? How about one that offers fashion, accessories, furniture, skin care, make-up, facials, and oh yes, more fashion. This September, Castaneda and itty bitty beauty boutique’s owner, Lynne Mosley, who moved to Gilroy in 2008, with her then fiancé, Ron Mosley, merged both businesses under one roof, and the shop owners couldn’t be happier. The addition of itty bitty beauty boutique transformed an underutilized storage space at the back of Amoretto Boutique into a quaint little Parisian-style beauty shop, complete with a beauty bar where patrons can sample the large selection of creams, moisturizers, and make-up, Mosley offers her clientele. “I liked the location, I liked the Magnolia trees, I loved the building,” Mosley said, regarding her new location. After operating in what Mosley describes as a “tiny space,” for over a year, the dream of relocating to a larger loca- tion became a reality when a customer who frequented both boutiques suggested the two merge. “I wanted to create an atmosphere in which women can come in and feel comfortable, and feel pretty, and feel like they’re welcomed, and have it be a nice experience for them,” Mosley said. Castaneda had entertained the idea of renting the space at the back of the store, but worried she wouldn’t find a retailer who would be a good fit. When she discovered that Mosley was interested, she knew she’d found exactly that. The collaboration of Castaneda and Mosley just works, even before their joint venture the two local businesswomen not only shopped at each other’s stores, but also referred their customers to each other’s shops. The next step was to get approval for the merger from Castaneda’s landlord, Gary Walton. Mosley provided Walton her ideas on the look for her shop, including a pink door, which is the itty bitty logo color. It turned out that Walton loved the idea. “He’s just a great guy,” Mosley said, adding, “It’s my dream shop.” Mosley’s dream was to create a shop that when her customers walked through the door, they felt as though that space had been created just for them. “It’s not about itty bitty the shop, it’s about the clients and their needs and wants, and what will be the best for them,” Mosley said. “I believe all women are beautiful, there’s something beautiful about every single woman, and you just have to believe in your- self.” Apparently her philosophy works. “We just met her, she’s wonderful,” itty bitty beauty boutique customer, Mary Jane Della Vecchia, said about Mosley. “You walk in feeling one way, and you come out feeling totally beautiful, and wonderful; you just walk in, and your day changes.” From November 1 st through the end of December, the boutique’s hours will be 10:30 am to 6:00 pm, seven days a week.