From clothes to shoes to accessories, fashion-crazed ladies of the Garden State can find all the pieces needed to complete an outfit at one stop: That Little Black Dress. Located in Montclair, the trendy boutique carries all the latest fashion at affordable prices. It all started with businesswoman Jenna Davis’s ambition and hard work. From studying the ins and outs of all things fashion and business, to inspirational words by Lagerfield, to an act of serendipity, check out how this go-getting Jersey girl made her dream come true.
Cliché: When did That Little Black Dress open?
Jenna Davis: I started That Little Black Dress as an online boutique, which opened on September 22, 2013. Then, I decided to search for my storefront location and found a perfect home at 179 Glenridge Avenue here in Montclair. On November 22, 2013, my doors were open and my dream began.
What made you want to open up your own boutique?
I’ve always wanted to open up my own boutique since I was a little girl. It was something I always dreamed about. Studying Fashion Merchandise and Business at LIM College in New York City gave me the knowledge and passion to pursue this journey.
How did you choose the name?
I was inspired by a quote from Karl Lagerfield: “One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress.” A little black dress is an essential piece that I feel every woman should own and the name is welcoming to all age groups.
What made you choose to have the shop in Montclair?
Growing up in Nutley, Montclair was always my number one destination to come shopping. One fall evening, my parents and I came to Montclair to walk around and look for potential shops. Just as we were about to head home, my mom said she wanted clams from FIN Restaurant. Pulling up next to FIN, I saw the “For Rent” sign with “915 square footage.” 915 is a very special number to me; my mom was born on September 15th and 9:15pm was the time that I was born. I looked in the window and instantly fell in love with the space. I felt like this location was meant for me.
Walk us through a typical day for you at your store.
I’m usually at the store 6-7 days a week working on fashion shoots, prepping clothing, and choosing our style of the day. When I’m not at the store, I go on buying trips and look for upcoming trends to pass along to my customers.
What’s your favorite part about owning your own store?
My favorite part would be meeting all my awesome customers that turned into great friends, buying the merchandise, and creating the window displays.
TLBD started carrying Free People in the fall. How do you like this new addition?
Free People is an amazing addition to my boutique. The line is complimentary to all sizes and shapes, which makes customers feel awesome and comfortable at the same time.
Other than fab clothing and accessories, you also sell soaps and candles. How did this come together?
I love all the products from Flavia and ever since I opened my store, I knew this was something my customers had to have. My family and I have used these products since I was a little girl, so they are very special to me. I partnered with the owner, Chiara; she puts so much love and care into her products. The line is a must for anyone and the products are all-natural and smell amazing.
With the holidays just around the corner, what is one of your favorite pieces for the holidays?
One product that stands out to me is the amazing blazer with a hemline made of feathers known as the “It Blazer.” Since I spotted the blazer at the New York City Fame Trade Show, it has been my ultimate favorite must-have piece.
Other than trendy clothing, TLBD carries fab accessories, too. What are some of your favorite accessories?
My favorite and best-selling winter item is our fabulous knit turbans. They look great on everyone and make perfect gifts!
What are your future plans for TLBD?
I want to grow and continue to provide my clientele with the best fashion at the best price. Eventually, I would like to open additional locations, but for now am happy growing and meeting the many individuals that visit my store.
Fun Facts with Jenna
I love all different types of food, but my favorite would have to be Italian, cooked by my grandma, of course.
I have a persian cat named Mercedes, whom I adore, and a Maltipoo dog named Sophie, who is attached to my mom’s hip.
Reading fashion magazines, going into New York City, going to the gym, and spending time with my boyfriend, family, and friends.
Holiday Gift Guide
While you’re taking a break from shopping for that fab holiday outfit, cross a few people off your list this season with these great gifts from TLBD!
Mezzi Handbags – Built in charger for all you ladies on the go!
The It Blazer – Spice up the little black blazer with some feathers!
Brooch Beanie Turban – Chic and warm, make a statement this winter!
Soaps & Candles – A no brainer! Who doesn’t love relaxing scents and natural skin soothing products?
To learn more, go to shopthatlbd.com.
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Photographed by Emilia Wojdylak