Nestled into Brooklyn's Mill Basin neighborhood is The Secret You, a French-inspired lingerie boutique that caters to local women looking for one-of-a-kind lingerie and swimwear items. The shop's owner, Victoria Talyansky, a resident of the neighborhood, found the area was lacking an intimate apparel boutique that offered top-notch service and high-end products.
The 800-square-foot shop was modeled after typical French lingerie boutiques. Its gold, burgundy and black furniture is warm and inviting with just the right touch of femininity.
This year Talyansky celebrated "Black Friday" by opening a larger, 1,000-square-foot boutique at 4091 Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island, N.Y. With her new store, Talyansky hopes to reach a broader customer base and to offer those customers more than she was able to with her one store.
"Because of its size we are able to do many more things," she said. "Anything that people ask for, we will do. Now that we have the space for a better customer and service-oriented store, there is no word 'no' in my vocabulary."
Talyansky is able to provide shoppers with personal assistance, and she promises to never sell the same item to more than one customer.
"I love working with my customers. I look at what people are wearing and I keep in contact with my clients to see what they want," she said. "I know my clients. I know what size they are, what they wear and what they bought. When I go to trade shows, I buy for my clients."
In addition to taking note on which styles she sells to each of her clients, Talyansky orders smaller quantities of each size and style.
"Everyone here knows each other and I would not want these women to be wearing the same thing."
The women who shop at The Secret You range from high-school students looking for a unique bathing suit to wealthy women looking to spend more money on the perfect T-shirt bra.
"Very few women lately have asked for sexy lingerie," said Talyansky. "They all want shapewear and T-shirt bras. Women don't want sexy lingerie anymore. They want a bra you can't see under their clothing."
Talyansky directs these women to well-fitting bras from Le Mystere, Chantelle and OnGossamer. For larger sizes, Talyansky has found her customers respond well to Conturelle's bras.
Swimwear is one of The Secret You's most-requested items. The racks are stocked with designer brands such as Gottex, Wolford, Chio diStefania D. Most recently, Talyansky added emerging designer, Claudia Fong to her roster of swimwear.
"This was the first time she was showing and I spent half the day with her," she said. "Her swimwear is so stunning. The bikinis are beautiful and so wearable. Most swimwear look good on the model but not everyone is a size two."
Women will also find T-shirts from Bejeweled by Susan Fixel, sparkling sandals from Flex Flops and embellished cashmere sets from Ethnic Revolution.
"I'm like a fish," she said. "If it sparkles, I'll take it."