Omaha boutique Garment District states their motto beautifully as a single line on the back of their business card: “New York inspiration, Omaha innovation.” But with Omaha’s number of fashion forward boutiques on the rise, and other businesses claiming to be New York-like, shoppers doubt the validity of said motto. Is this truly a New York-shopping experience? As I arrive one late February afternoon at The Shops of Legacy, an upscale outdoor shopping center where Garment District was established in 2006, it’s clear that spring is in full effect. The store is brimming with standout pieces in some of the biggest trends for the upcoming season and sisters Stacie Mausbach (owner) and Kelli Smith (store manager) are busy with like-minded customers. Smith is assisting a young couple with a special occasion dress and Mausbach is helping another select a piece of jewelry. Most noticeable of the winter-blues-cures are high quality faux leather handbags with long, cross body straps that anyone could wear in hot pink, navy and camel. These bags are right on with the season’s “shrinking handbag” trend, and are made to fit your wallet, keys, lipstick and phone. What separates these from their Marc by Marc Jacobs-doppelgangers (sold elsewhere) is their price: a mere $34. “What’s nice is that they’re not a big investment,” says Mausbach. “All of our purses are priced right around $25 to $65.” Their fairly-priced items do not stop there; Garment District also carries a line of eco-friendly yet chic footwear out of Brazil called Mariana. This line is handcrafted, and uses only vegetable dyes with both modern and vintage influences. “We bring in about 8 styles every season, and again, they’re well made but not a huge investment,” stated Mausbach. Along with their low priced accessories, Garment District also offers higher end investment pieces such as premium lines J Brand and Sanctuary. “We like to feature new and emerging but also well established designers,” said Mausbach. “And we know that many of our customers like to get a dual-use out of our pieces, for work and play, so we carry a wide array of products and price points.” When asked about the Garment District’s history, Mausbach explains that she started out with her fashion education with a background in Fashion Merchandising from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). But she didn’t stop there. After completing her studies, she moved to New York and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) while working at a designer showroom. It wasn’t long before Mausbach realized her dream, to bring New York-style fashion to Omaha, in the form of a one of a kind boutique. “We will have been open for five years in May,” says Mausbach. It is apparent that Mausbach is representing New York in Omaha as she continues to show me around the store. She mentions that she can bring “reasonable, unique jewelry” from her vendors in New York for great prices, because she knows them and can avoid going through a middle man. Garment District also offers complimentary services such as personal shopping, ranging from a one-yime consultation for a special event or a long-term consultation for ongoing services from their stylists. In addition to their personal shopping services, Garment District offers another rarity to Omaha: trunk shows. Most recently, they featured nationally recognized style and beauty guide Mal Pearson’s French-inspired T-shirt line, Victory Rose, and in the past they had a show for Handmade Modern, designer Sara Bucy’s jewelry line out of Lincoln. “Mal has been a customer of ours since the start,” said Mausbach. “We had a great turnout, and she donates a portion of the proceeds to Compassion International.” Compassion International is a non-profit that provides economic, educational, and spiritual support to children around the world. On the whole, it’s evident that Garment District offers a little something for every woman, from casual T-shirts to formal wardrobe-building pieces. Mausbach and Smith provide a great balance and variety for their customers and to each other. They not only work well together in taking inspiration from the fashion capital of the world, but in selecting the clothing they want to wear themselves. Both this duo, and Garment District, are sure to be around for years to come. Garment District is located in The Shops of Legacy at 16939 Wright Plaza, Suite 123 Omaha, NE 68130.Hours of Operation are Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Contact Garment District at 402.557.6100 or see for more details.

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