Mon. May 16th, 2022


     For five years, Nich boutique has contributed a modern day assorted style to the downtown West Chester area.  Students from the university, working mothers, and young adults shop at Nich, and are huge fans of Kristy Mak’s ability to appeal to their innovative taste and progressive style. The idea of finding a “niche” in style comes to some easier than others, but for Mak, the “Nich” was a space dedicated to capturing the inner and outer beauty of creativity for various young women. 

   When Mak opened the doors to her affordable trendy clothing boutique in the downtown West Chester area, her “niche” was fulfilled. The boutique was named Nich, dropping the “e,” to add its own character to the word and definition of what “Nich” Mak’s customers had for fashion.  Five years ago, with a troubled economy, the 30-year-old Asian American,  Mak, pondered starting her own clothing business. After years of working for various retailers, such as Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom, her experience in quality customer service and trendsetting expertise bolstered Mak’s confidence to run her own boutique. 

     “After three months of working at Nordstrom, I quickly began a business plan for my boutique, and it took me four months to get the business up and running,” Mak said

     Both of Mak’s parents were business owners, so they supported and inspired their daughter’s business venture. 

     Mak’s boutique, just minutes away from West Chester University, offers apparel, accessories, shoes and an incredible shopping experience. Mak constantly travels to New York City and Vegas to attend fashion events in order to know what to buy for her boutique. It is important for Mak to delve into the lastest fashion through magazines, blogs, and celebrity tabloid photos. She uses her own fashion sense and what is popular when making buying decisions.

      Some of the affordable designer fashions sold at Nich are, Vigoss, Jack by Be Be Dakota, Skies are Blue and Ya Los Angelos. The comfortable Tom shoe is another attracting feature at the Nich boutique.  The merchandise price range is anywhere from $20 to $100. Students, mothers and working women ages 18-30 come in to shop with Mak and gain personal insights about her fashion expertise.  

     “One woman traveled an hour and a half just to ask me if a pair of shoes went well with her dress before she went to a special dinner,” said Mak.

     Customers are more than just business clients to Mak, some are good friends whom Mak knows personally.

“I like for customers to feel comfortable and at home when they are shopping at the Nich Boutique,” Mak said.

      The boutique is divided into three compartments enlivened with a modern art décor. The first room represents an “art nuvo” theme. This room houses the bulk of the merchandise Nich has to offer. Chandeliers light the room just enough to see the merchandise. Antique wooden tables and metal bars are arranged meticulously for hanging dresses, folded tops, laying jeans, knotted scarves, sitting sunglasses, and dangling fashion jewelry.

     Mak’s sense of style and sophistication crafted a white canvas layered with black lace that fits into the wall. This illusion of space in the wall adds texture to the yellow interior design. Victorian, vintage mirrors are hung for customers to hold up the attire and accessories near them to quickly glance before purchasing.   The next room, is painted blue with an “industrial” inspired theme.

      White, unpainted patches, in the walls support an “industrial” theme. The industrial room accommodates the outerwear, graphic tee shirts, footwear and other staple pieces for ones wardrobe. The silver bars, which resemble metal plumbing pipes, glisten under the lighting fixtures. The fixtures in the ceiling are also silver wired, which creates geometric shapes, with each corner holding a small florescent light.   

After gathering dresses, jeans, shoes and outerwear, Nich shoppers have the opportunity to engage in their potential purchases. Two brown leather rotating chairs are separated by an old-fashioned glass table with collections of magazines for keeping up with latest trends, celebrities and fashion updates. Most of the relationships and personal connections are made with Mak and customers during the outfitting decision making time in the fitting room.

     Mak scatters around the boutique looking for sizes and exact colors or items to suit the needs of her customers. If the piece is not in the store, Mak’s  customer service finds exactly what the customer wants. The exclusiveness of service has kept Mak in business thus far. 

       The future holds a growing business in the West Chester area for women and men to shop for the latest trends. Eventually, Mak plans to open a branch shoe store, which the West Chester town lacks. The exceptionality of the boutique will maintain a valued shopper at Nich, therefore Mak has no plans to open stores at new locations across the country, or state.

        Mak and her boyfriend converted what used be a jewelry store into lucrative business geared towards embracing self identity for a relatively cheap price. 

     Nich Boutique can be found at 29 South High Street in West Chester, Pa.

twitter is @shopNich

     Dominique Perry is a fifth-year student majoring in professional studies wtih minors in journalism and studio art. She can be reached at

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