This article was originally posted on Asbury Park Press by Liz Dennerlein on September 24, 2015.
Jersey woman brings designer clothes to your door
Christie Maruka spent her days growing up in Middletown scavenging through her grandmother’s closet, looking for vintage finds.
Her love for fashion struck when she was 12 years old. By age 15, she was working in her first clothing store — Kinkels in Tinton Falls, helping clients discover their specific style.
“That’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do,” Maruka said. “I just loved what (fashion) did for women. When I would dress them, they would come back and you could see they had a surge in their self-confidence.
“They entrusted me to dress them and tell me their insecurities. I would work with them and listen to them and ease their anxieties. I truly loved helping women.”
Maruka, who currently lives in Wall, eventually opened up her own trendy women’s boutique in Monmouth County, which she ran for nearly 10 years.
After she had her son, she decided to sell the shop in 2007 with the hope of starting a business that allowed more flexibility — that’s when she came up with the idea for a mobile fashion clothing store — Fashion Fix, what Maruka calls “heaven on wheels.”
She transformed a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van into a showroom boutique on wheels, which is stocked with hand-picked designer clothing, including jeans, dresses, accessories and yoga attire in every size. The van is even equipped with a full-length mirror and changing area for those who are on the go.
Her mobile clothing business, which has been featured on the “Tyra Banks Show” and the “Montel Williams Show,” is designed to make shopping convenient for the busy individual. Today, Maruka, 46, drives around the tri-state area, providing hundreds of clients with services, including closet editing, wardrobe consultations, style makeovers and personal shopping.
Maruka, who attends New York fashion week twice a year, said she keeps up to date with the latest runway trends. She’s often had clients calling her up, asking that she hunt down a $10,000 handbag or a limited-edition designer item, she said.
“To me, style is of course important,” Maruka said. “It’s a way to create an identity for yourself. Throughout our lives, we continue to alter and develop our image.”
Maruka is available to meet at the office or at a private residence seven days a week. She suggests booking an appointment two weeks in advance.
If your closet is overflowing with clothes you’ve never worn before, then Maruka will come over and help you sort out what items should stay and what can go. She helps clients find ways to make old items look modern, as well as organizes closets. Anything that doesn’t stay will go to a women’s shelter, Maruka said.
Personal Shopping/Style Makeover
Maruka works with women, teenagers and men looking for a fresh start. She asks clients to send her a few pictures of themselves and take part in a short phone interview. Afterwards, she will help clients achieve their desired look.
“I take into account their hair color, what they do for a living, their size and shape,” Maruka said. “Then I’ll map out where we’re going, what stores are best and how I can accommodate their budget.”
She saves clients time by doing all the shopping herself. She then presents a variety of items which they can review. Maruka can also personally shop with her clients to lend advice.
This two-hour consultation is designed to give clients the confidence and skills in regards to their own fashion sense. This service costs $250.
Maruka’s services cost $125 per hour. Travel fees will be included for out-of-state clients. For more information, visit fashionfixnj.com or call 732-233-3129.