During a visit to in Watchung Plaza, customer Jean Grossman stopped by to sing the praises of owner Laura Barker.
"I'm intimidated by clothes so this place has been great for me," Grossman said.
She explained how she had previously popped into Dot Reeder just before heading out to an important event, only to walk out of the colorful store 10 minutes later armed with the perfect outfit.
No doubt lots of women feel the same way about Dot Reeder and will be happy to learn that Barker will be moving the store next week to the space formerly occupied by the recently closed at the corner of North Fullerton and Watchung avenues.
The new location will only give Barker another 160 square feet of space but it will provide her with a lot more visibility.
She said her goal is not to offer more stylish picks from Pendleton, Tracy Reese, Clu, Steven Alan, Alexander Wang, Joes Jeans, R13, Blank Jeans, A.P.C., and Only Hearts, but to spread the items out more so that clothing pieces are easier to find.
"A lot of my business is word-of-mouth business so the increased visibility will be a boon," said Barker, who opened Dot Reeder at 42 Fairfield Street about four years ago.
Barker explained that she still holds the lease to the current Dot Reeder space and that she plans to open a pop-up women's clothing store there after her move to the new location next week.
After her move, Barker's ultimate goal is to open a women's clothing consignment store at 42 Fairfield Street, which is just a few doors down from Watchung Booksellers.
"I want to do what I do now with Dot Reeder, but only on consignment," she said. "Women would be able to swap great clothes for more great clothes."
When asked about Dot Reeder's popularity, Barker said that she doesn't care about bestsellers—only about what's best for her clients.
"Every woman has something. They think they are too thin or that they have large hips or whatever. This is a store full of clothing designed to alleviate women's concerns about themselves," she said. "Every woman seems to only have 10 minutes to find clothes for a big party or for a vacation and we can help them here.
"Everyone who works here is an expert and we can help our customers find exactly what will make them look good and feel good about themselves," she said.
To celebrate Dot Reeder's move next week, Montclair Patch asked Barker a few questions about her life and work:
Q) Who is your favorite designer?
A) Alexander Wang. It's the epitome of who I am as a woman who loves fashion. It's so basic and simple but transforming at the same time.
Q) What can you say about how Montclair women dress?
A) Women in Montclair want to look good and they have an elevated taste level but clothing is not their first concern. Many have a husband, children, and other things that are their focal point. I try to buy articles that are easy to wear and that don't make getting dressed a chore.
Q) Do you live in Montclair?
A) No, I live in [New York City]. But my dad grew up here. In fact my parents' first date was at Tierney's. My aunt raised her kids here and so I have family here.
Q) What do you like to do when you aren't doing "fashion?"
A) I live with my boyfriend and he has two kids 7 and 10. We have family time. We do a lot of cool and unusual things. We do creative things. The kids are very creative. We listen to a lot of music and have a lot of fun.
Q) Why is the shop named Dot Reeder?
A) It was named after my grandmother Dorothy Reeder. We decided to call it Dot though. It's like an inside joke because my grandmother's a very proper woman.