“Women are so much more than a size on a tag. I created this business so that women of all sizes could shop here and leave feeling beautiful in something professional and affordable.”
That’s how Lisa Haacker describes her boutique apparel store, Working Women’s Apparel, which has operating along Fourth Plain Boulevard near Orchards Park since December 2014.
“67 percent of Clark County is made up of single women who are the head of their household,” she said. Many are raising children, striving to make ends meet and often just getting back into the job market. I realized a need within the community and wanted to be able to reach out and help women find affordable professional clothing and accessories.”
With a passion for fashion and a gentle personal approach that makes clients feel welcome and beautiful, Haacker aims to help customers find ways to enhance what they may already own, and she encourages women to bring in their own clothes like a skirt or jacket that may still be fashionable or in good condition.
“They often do not realize that simply adding a new blouse and some shoes might be all they need,” said Haacker. “Most customers are shocked when I tell them to bring in a few items that they may still get some wear out of. In all honesty, seeing what they bring in allows me to see their individual style and taste in clothing. It makes it easier to work with them and know what they might be most comfortable in.”
Haacker, who owns, manages and runs the boutique on her own, refers to herself as a ‘curvy girl’ and has always had a love for fashion and classic cars. Her store specializes in carrying fashionable accessories, handbags and clothing for the office and evening. You’ll find designer brands such as Michael Kors, Hearts & Roses and Nina Austin available in sizes to fit every shape and size.
With a large selection of ‘calendar girl,’ 50’s style vintage patterns and classic looks, the store pops with vibrant colors and patterns to entice even the most hesitant shoppers to want to try on a dress or two.
“I have many women who enter the boutique and fall in love with the fun flirty dresses we carry,” Haacker shared. “They insist they will never fit into a dress like that. I tell them that we carry sizes small, medium, large, diva and goddess – no plus-size [labeling] here.”
Personal safety is also important to Haacker, and so the shop carries a variety of personal defense tools – everything from stun guns and pepper spray to personal panic alarms. Haacker will even instruct buyers on how to operate and work the items.
“The pepper spray I carry has a ‘bonus’ in that it stays on the skin and clothing for 10 days and can be detected under a black light, which can be helpful to the police in finding an attacker,” she explained. “Women should not feel intimidated and should have the ability to protect themselves, which is why the products I carry are also affordable.”
Working Women’s Apparel is closed on most weekends in the summer as Haacker can be found promoting and selling her boutique items under a tent at local events and car shows – sometimes as far away as the Eugene Roadster Show, from April 22-24, with a tagline on her booth that reads, “Every Woman is a Pin-Up.”
While styling others and helping the community is a full-time job, Haacker still manages to find time to sponsor and work with the current Mrs. Vancouver America, Lisa Jacobs, styling her for events and competitions.
Haacker also started “Project Handbag,” where she collects old handbags and new, unused personal hygiene products (soap, shampoo, sanitary products, deodorant). She fills the purses and hands them out to homeless women. Haacker said she always welcomes donations toward this ongoing project.
Working Women’s Apparel LLC
10303 NE Fourth Plain Blvd. Vancouver