By Karen Rempel
Mademoiselle Mirabelle might be a new kid on the block, but owner Nicole Nicholson is a veteran New York business operator. Six months after opening her Bleecker Street location, Nicole was having trouble making ends meet. Her Madison Avenue location has been a success for 30 years, but it takes time to build a clientele in a new location, and Bleecker Street is a tough walnut to crack.
With her customary French aplomb, Nicole approached her landlord, BLDG Management Company, to openly discuss possible solutions. “I just asked them,” she recalls. “I said, ‘If I pay you all my old rent, would you please give me a year at a lower rent because I’m going to come up with a new design.’ I told the truth. I said, ‘I’m going to try a new thing, a new concept for the store,’ and he said okay.” Nicole knew she needed to make some changes to adapt to the West Village vibe. She decided to begin offering clothing by young designers on consignment. She updated the lighting and jewelry presentation. She told her landlord, “I’m going to try to make some money, please be patient with us!” And it worked. Well done, Nicole!
Nicole is making progressive changes to the boutique’s collection. She wants to make it the house of fashion for new designers from all over the world. She’s also planning to promote artists, singers, and painters in the store, possibly by holding evening happenings. While enhancing her timeless fashion offerings, she is clearly thinking beyond clothes, and may even add artistic home and kitchen items as well as children’s clothing.
Stop by the Bleecker Street store to check out the new fall clothes in monochrome tones with a few fun touches of color, including gorgeous jewel-toned felt hats. As well, the jewelry throughout the store is unique, appealing, and an excellent value.
Say bonjour to Nicole at 330 Bleecker Street, or call 917-261-7332. Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday.