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IMG_3736I’ve known Darlene Gardner for 20 years. We first met when she was manager of the Stuart Weitzman store at South Coast Plaza. I later followed her to her Antonia shoe and handbag boutique at Corona del Mar Plaza, where she continued to share her footware wisdom with a her many customers – and I venture to say “fans.” I’ve always told her she could sell snow to Eskimos!

Darlene has now landed at The Hidden Jewel in Costa Mesa. Another favorite of mine – I’ve bought some fabulous clothes there – Jessica Hughes and her darling daughter Tessa Fasick opened their ladies fashion boutique in 2010, where they are serving up a variety of unique casual fashions and accessories. Everything but shoes. “That’s why we wanted Darlene,” Tessa said at the recent grand opening of Darlene’s Antonia Shoes at The Hidden Jewel.

The opening party was great fun, with a delicious taco bar and tasty margaritas. And, there, of course, was Darlene and her “fans.” Shoe sales were booming with sandals, platforms and wedges flying out the door! Kate Eastman, one of Darlene’s customers – friends! – from her Stuart Weitzman days was trying on shoes like crazy. She left with some great choices.

I’m just so happy for my friend Darlene. She not only knows the shoe business, but she’s also a loving, giving individual. As, may I add, are Tessa and Jessica. The threesome have the perfect fashion boutique, dressing you from head to toe! Check it out!

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