Carrie Rengers

Christiane’s Closet to become the Violet Closet

One mother’s need to focus more on her family and another mom’s desire to expand her focus beyond her family are resulting in the sale of a Wichita consignment shop.

Christy McClelland is selling her Christiane’s Closet near Central and Hillside to Tara Castillo, who is renaming the business the Violet Closet.

“I’m leaving my baby in wonderful hands,” McClelland says. “She’s honest, and that’s a huge thing for me. My consignors are like my family.”

McClelland bought the business 14 years ago, which was about a year and a half after Christiane Doom opened it at 517 N. Lorraine.

There’s been confusion over the name of the business – some people think it’s named after McClelland – so she says it’s smart that Castillo is changing the name.

“I love the new name,” McClelland says.

Castillo is naming it for her late grandmother, Violet Beck-Muller.

“She was the happiest, most sincere person,” Castillo says.

McClelland’s last day in business is Oct. 31. Castillo reopens the doors on Nov. 2.

“I’ve always wanted to own a little shop, but it just has never seemed like the right time,” Castillo says.

She has two daughters who are nearing the end of high school.

“This sounds pathetic, but I can hardly read the e-mails I’ve been getting (from school) without being reduced to tears,” Castillo says.

“It’s time for me to find my own identity. I just feel like I need to do this.”

McClelland says she has some family needs to focus on.

“Retail is a different animal. To be successful, it takes a lot of time.”

McClelland says that “a lot of good consignment stores have not made it in this city.”

“There’s just something special about the Closet.”

McClelland says to sell the shop is “very bittersweet for me, but I am so happy for her.”

Though she wants to put her own stamp on the business, Castillo says she wants customers to know that everything they love about the store will remain the same.

“I don’t want anybody to freak out and think I’m changing anything,” she says. “It already has such a charm about it.”

Castillo says her oldest daughter had indicated that it’s time for her to find her own thing.

“I felt like I’ve found it.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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