Since 1955, the 2,400-square-foot Jay Ann Intimates has offered women in the Huntington Valley, PA. area fine lingerie. In April 2009 the American Board for Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics fully accredited the retailer to sell and provide services for post-mastectomy items. All four of the boutique’s employees are bra fitters and two are board certified in mastectomy fitting.
“We are known to be problem solvers, the ones that you visit to purchase the hard-to-find bra,” the company’s co-owner, Farrell Friedenberg, said. Sizes run from 32AA to 58J, XS through 4XL, and prices range from $6.50 to $200.
Despite the shop’s apparent success today, there have been some bumps along the road. Founder Flossy Pollack was a stay-at-home mom whose husband, Israel, gave her $16,000 to open up the store, which she moved to a new location in 1970. In 1984, she passed the store on to her daughter, Merle Pollack, who moved the business to where it stands today.
But about two and a half years ago, Merle was preparing to shut the store down due to health issues. After helping out one day, her cousin (Friedenberg) discovered that she enjoyed the hustle and bustle of a small business, and agreed to take over the store if her sister-in-law, Hope Bear, would serve as co-owner. “The rest, as they say, is history,” Bear commented.
Top-sellers are Wacoal, Simone Pérèle and Eveden. The typical customer is an educated, upper middle class career woman aged 30 to 50 with an average bra size of 38D. Friedenberg believes that customers keep coming back to Jay Ann’s for its friendly and inviting atmosphere. Staff members are on a first name basis with all customers.
The boutique beats out local competition by forming relationships with clients, and employing knowledgeable staff who educate shoppers on proper bra-fitting. Advertising techniques include direct mail, email blasts, personal telephone calls and announcements in local newspapers. In addition, Friedenberg changes the store’s window display monthly in conjunction with holidays to highlight new merchandise.
Due to the recession, the store has worked to be selective about price and particularly conscious of customers needs, techniques which, combined with the boutique’s unique touch, she believes will keep the shop thriving.
“No one does exactly what we do,” she commented.
Jay Ann Intimates is located at 2052 County Line Rd., Huntington Valley, Pa., 19006.