Location: Hoboken, NJ
Phone: (201) 963-1522
Ted Vayos, BODY: Tell me about the store.
Diane Stiglich: Galatea is a long and narrow space yet it seems quite large and a world unto itself. We have painted flowers and hearts on the wall, we put gold on the floors and our dressing rooms have bronze rose curtains. Customers come to relax and take in the wonderful scents, see the amazing colors and touch the soft fabrics. They know they can always find something here for themselves or as a gift. We carry bras and underwear, chemises, pajamas, bridal, dresses, sweaters, tee shirts, socks and everything in-between. Our vendors are the best in the business and we rely on them to provide us with great products! Also, we have what we dub “the man couch” for those who are afraid to venture beyond the door as their partners shop.
Galatea is interested in the unique. We have a price point for every body and a variety of merchandise to fit everyone’s style and shape. We have the best customer service in town because we have the best customers. Many have been shopping with me since I first opened 24 years ago, and just as many have discovered it in recent years, and we treat everyone like a friend. We laugh and cry with them and many friendships have been formed here. Most of the women (and men) that shop here often say that they can’t find any place like Galatea. We also have the prettiest windows that can be seen by everyone on the bus going to New York and they often they pop in asking about something that has been in our window.
Ted : What do we look for in a brand?
Diane: We buy what we think our customers will love, or what we ourselves love. We look for natural fibers when we can and we love products made in the U.S. when we can get them (which is often). Almost all of the brands we have had great success with are fabulously soft, or lacy and feminine pieces from vendors such as Eberjey, Fleurt, Jonquil, PJ Salvage, Munki Munki, Bedhead and Cosabella as well as corsetry/bustiers and garters from Blush, NK Mode, In Bloom and Aubade. Bras and panties are a huge part of our business and our bestsellers are Wacoal, Natori, Betsy Johnson, On Gossamer, Le Mystere, Simone Perele, Chantelle, Aubade, Calida, Cosabella, and of course, Hanky Panky!!
We also carry ready-to-wear from White & Warren, Splendid, Ella Moss, Whitewash, Fidelity Denim, 360 Sweaters, Lilla P, 3 Dot, Envi, and XCVI as well as accessories from unique jewelry from small designers, candles, soaps, hand crèmes, perfumes, and other small gift items from vendors such as Lollia, Tokyo Milk, Tocca, Elizabethan, and more. We touch on men’s with Calida boxers and pick up some men’s pajamas for the holiday season. We also carry hosiery from Calvin Klein, DKNY, Falke, Capezio, and HotSox, as well as shapewear from Spanx, Grenier, and Nubra. We never “drop” brands unless there are “fit” problems—we do, however, change some of our vendors seasonally so we may pick up a brand like Carlopik for Fall and another like Heartloom for Spring, depending on what we think our customers would like that season. We always keep an eye out for new brands that are unique that our customers can’t buy anywhere else. We appreciate vendors that let us exchange items when something doesn’t sell, or that let us pick a “promo” item from our buy so we can wear it in store so our customers can see how the pieces fit. Our sales reps are the best and they really know their product. They are great at sharing their knowledge with us so we can buy wisely and well for our customers.
Ted: Describe Popular trends in store
Diane: We touch on trend but we are not married to it. We believe in personal style. There is no singular trend here at Galatea, our women just want to look great and we help them do that whether it’s finding them the correct bra size, that special dress, or the perfect chemise for a bride-to-be.
Ted: What about prices and sizes?
Diane: Our prices range from $7 for a hand cream to several hundred for a yummy cashmere sweater, and every price in between. Our sizes typically range from zero to twelve.
We don’t have a typical size here. Every woman, regardless of their size is beautiful. We have lots of size zeros and we have lots of average size customers. It can also be dependent on how the sizing is done by the vendor. As you know some women are small on top and bigger on the bottom and vice versa. You can never rely on size when it comes to fashion, it’s whatever fits our customer and makes her look and feel beautiful because that is what is the most important.
Ted: What’s the average sale?
Diane: Average customer spending: $100 and love.
Ted: What else?
Diane: We literally have a customer base of sixteen through eighty. While most of our customers are female ages 25-65, we have plenty of men who frequent Galatea looking for a gift for their significant other whether it be a bra and panty set, comfy pjs or bathrobe, or a great top. And most of these men know their lady’s size!
Alongside having the best bras and lingerie in town as well as great clothing, we will not let our customers leave in something that is ill-fitting or that doesn’t look amazing on them. No one should ever buy anything that is “just ok” and in this economy, we make sure our customers are excited about their purchases. We are known for being honest about what works and what doesn’t work on their bodies and they have learned to trust our opinions.
We are like a garden, so that we are always trying new things and we evolve with our customers in a very organic way. We make sure everyone who comes into Galatea leaves feeling wonderful.