Area Fashion Merchant Has a Yen for ‘Pop-Ups’

By Eric Englund | Jul 03, 2019

Stafford Township — As far back as she can remember, Colleen Daum has had an interest in fashion. One day her goal is to open her own boutique-style business on Long Beach Island.

A former Manahawkin resident and 2004 graduate of Southern Regional High School, Daum started her own on-line business, amannequin.com.

“It’s an affordable fashion boutique built on inspiration, street style and playing dress-up,” she said. “The concept for amannequin was created by me throughout my years of experience in the world of fashion. Hauling ass in retail, walking 30 blocks to get ice cream for magazine editors, and assisting buying dreadful Halloween costumes. You name it, I did it. Although I appreciate every learning experience, I felt like I couldn’t conform to the daily 9 to 5 schedule, so I decided to take a truly genuine yet risky path of my own.”

The site features her own line of what she calls “statement jewelry” along with clothing fashions from multiple brands.

“Amannequin is my take on the perfect wardrobe,” she said. “Every accessory and every piece of clothing is carefully selected by me to inspire you to show off your personal style. I truly believe that when it comes to your look, it’s the little details that matter most and the clever details that set you apart from the crowd. Amannequin is about bringing conversation pieces you can wear into one place. This is your one-stop shop for finding that street style piece you’ve been dying to have in your wardrobe. I obsess over the details so that you can exude effortless confidence for any occasion.”

But before she opens her own storefront, the graduate of LIM (Laboratory Institute of Merchandise) in New York City looks to test the water with what she calls “pop up boutiques.” These are occasions where she joins forces with another business, showing her merchandise in more of a sidewalk sale setting. Her first one was last month at Baked at the Beach in Surf City.

“That really meant a lot to me because I have fond memories of Surf City,” said Daum. “I spent a lot of time there as a child at my grandmother’s place.”

Daum is eyeing other Island sites for pop-ups.

“Obviously I wouldn’t have it in front of a competing business,” she said. “I’m thinking of a place where people could buy coffee or snacks, and they’d have room to sit outside. That would give me an opportunity to reach out and show what I have.”

Much of her on-line merchandise consists of clothing, handbags, jewelry, accessories, denim and shoes.

“The site has grown at a steady pace,” said Daum. “Hopefully, these pop-ups will help get me to the next step.”

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

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