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The Closet is Filled With Inspiration ... And It's Not Just the Clothes

One woman inspires the community by doing what most would deem impossible. Can you run a business and go through breast cancer? This amazing woman has!

When Shalimar Backman opened the doors to The Closet, a designer consignment boutique for apparel and accessories, little did she know of the journey that was ahead of her.

A year and a half ago, she was the proud owner of one the most popular designer consignment boutiques around. Six months later, she was told devastating news. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was forced with a hard decision of closing the doors to her business that she is very passionate about, or to try and keep the doors open and attempt to manage her diagnosis and all the personal and medical chaos with it.

Shalimar made the decision to remain open. She refused to give up her business that meant so much to her, and made the decision to fight the diagnosis as well as to take every precaution that she could to ensure that she wouldn’t have to go through something like this again. Over the course of this past year, she has undergone seven surgeries and managed to keep her doors open to the public.

"You never think you're going to go through something like this. All you can do is your best," she said.

She has done her best! She is now officially considered a breast cancer survivor, and personally, she has really inspired me in so many ways. Her strength to keep going despite the odds and hardships that she would face, to keep a smile on her face despite the uncertainty of what tomorrow could bring is amazing. The fact that she could run a small business, which most of us who have spoken with our local business owners or have family and friends that run a business know, this isn’t an easy task to begin with.

When you first walk in The Closet, Shalimar’s friendly smile and greeting will always put you in the right mood. The store layout is customer-friendly, organized by career wear to casual chic, and as you browse through the selections you’re welcomed with a dazzling array of different colors and styles. Talk about variety!

Designers range from St. John to lululemon, from the soft elegance in career wear to the sassy flair in casual wear. This is your one-stop shop. If you’re looking for something in particular, she can either find it for you in the shop or keep an eye out for you and notify you when the item has been consigned. How many places could you get a lululemon suit for a fraction of the cost? Craving something Italian? Look no further—you’re going to love her prices! Care for anything in Versace anyone? Act fast before they’re gone!

Also, ladies, now this is extremely important… Keep on the lookout for end of sale items that are 50 percent off! She is also known to have sidewalk sales or indoor sales of items that are 75 percent off, so if you’re not following her on Facebook to find out these nice little tidbits, now is definitely the time.

If you’re under a size 12, you are going to be on cloud nine! Of course, you don’t have to be a size 12 to shop here. She has an amazing collection of designer handbags, wallets, scarves and jewelry ready and awaiting to complete that perfect ensemble. Since I am a full time mother of a 2.5-year-old, I’m going with the casual chic that says, “Yes, I am an active mom, but with style.” My recent handbag addition is just for me.

For those of you who will be going into her shop to consign, and if you’re not going to miss that piece of clothing, let Shalimar donate the item if it doesn’t sell to a good cause. Children’s Hospital is the proud recipient, and The Closet is one of the largest contributors. Way to go!

Thank you, Shalimar! You are more than a breast cancer survivor—you are truly an inspiration that empowers us all. Your strength and dedication to what you love is inspiring, and it definitely has shown me that if you truly put your heart into something, you can keep it going… no matter what!

PS: Ladies, Juicy Couture is there! Now, someone with a brown, black or beige fringe handbag, get in and consign, please!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gwenn Derdowski October 07, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Beautiful, brave, smart & Classy with a capital C! That's our Shalimar! I've known her since she was a little girl & she has always been so amazing! She walks in the footsteps of her Gorgeous mother, Detta, who was one of my mom's best friends. Love you, Shalimar! You inspire us all. Gwenn (Lang Escher) Derdowski

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