I see her sitting at the coffee shop. Nails done. Hair coiffed. A tan that belies its provenance (looks real to me). A bag, a ring, a belt that are all so utterly cool, so utterly now, that I have to do a double take. Hey, she isn't just sitting here, she works here! How'd she afford the designer accoutrements?
I found out her secret. It's Dazzle, the place to shop for designer-inspired accessories. Owners Valerie Martin and Andy Johnson (they are sister and brother) have done right by those of us with a sense of style - and a budget. How? With a punchy mix of au courant and ultra-label-conscious purses, baubles and more.
An experienced retail maven whose résumé includes stints at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, Martin knows her designers. Whether her inventory fakes Tiffany & Co., Chanel or Marc Jacobs, she has fun with the merchandise and lets her customers speak as ambassadors for the store. "I was having Dazzle withdrawal," one lamented to me after a several-week absence.
Under the spell of the disco ball spinning above, check out bargains like David Yurman knock-off rings on the $3 bargain table, or a Louis Vuittonesque bag with impressive detail and hardware, at an amazing price of $45. For those of you hip to the Pirates of the Caribbean trend, a $10 rhinestone-encrusted skull-and-crossbones necklace will give you an inexpensive fix, in pink, blue or green. And we won't tell anyone your source for the iconic intertwined "C"s earrings that you scored for $15.
As Martin says, "What happens at Dazzle, stays at Dazzle."
8426 Old Sauk Rd., Middleton, 826-4455, 10 am-8 pm Mon.-Fri., 10 am-6 pm Sat., noon-5 pm Sun., www.madisondazzle.com