Cathie Anderson: Tres Chic boutique to return in time for prom season

Published: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 - 12:21 pm

Susan Tiesing "kind of snuck out" of her Tres Chic boutique at 2228 J St. in May, quietly closing the doors on the store where teenage girls found prom dresses for 18 years.

She couldn't face goodbyes to clients as she was preparing to say a last farewell to her father, Ralph Short, whose death came two weeks ago in Oroville.

"I typically am really good about contacting the media and all that," she said. "I just couldn't deal with it. I kind of snuck out."

Tiesing left a note online, however, saying: "I invite you to stay tuned to this website as I will post any new fashion ventures here. I am currently seeking a local retailer to share retail space five months out of the year. If this could be you, or you know of a potential referral for me, I welcome your email."

Well, it turns out that Tiesing won't miss her 19th prom season in Sacramento. She will open a boutique at 3257 Folsom Blvd. in east Sacramento on Nov. 7.

Strength in numbers?

Like many landlords, Shelly Gantenbein has run into her share of troubles keeping tenants. One filed for bankruptcy protection. Another moved out in the middle of the night.

"This building's been in our family for 60 years," Gantenbein said. "We've had The Beat records. We've had Sierra Valley windows. … People just can't afford to lease 5,000 square feet."

Whenever Gantenbein showed the space, she said, potential tenants would tell her it was a great location on Folsom Boulevard near 33rd Street but that they only needed a fraction of it.

Finally, Gantenbein hit upon an idea: Create small spaces that can be rented month to month for $500 to $700. Put tables in the center that will lease for $50 weekly. Rent the back room for $50 a day to those who want to do classes.

Susan Tiesing of Tres Chic boutique was among the first to sign a lease. Gantenbein has leased nine of the 11 monthly spaces to retailers who sell everything from bike accessories to jams to jewelry to women's apparel. She is hoping to find a coffee cart vendor before opening Nov. 7.

Called East Sacramento Mercantile, the exchange will operate Wednesdays through Saturdays. Starting in January, Feeding Crane Farms will sell local foods and produce there on Sundays. Call (916) 706-6966 for information.

Petite size, big spirit

If the petite Dr. Nancy Chege didn't have the migrant spirit, she surely would look a bit nervous when pointing out the Sutter North Medical facilities virtually surrounding her independent radiology practice in Yuba City.

Or, perhaps her confidence comes from training at the University of California, San Diego, with internationally known radiologist Donald Resnick and from knowing that her facility has the same accreditations as her larger competitor.

"People come to me not because I'm pretty but because of the quality of the services I provide," Chege said.

The Kenyan-born Chege is running a profitable practice at Yuba City Advanced Imaging Center, 470 Plumas Blvd.. She recently undertook a $1.2 million expansion to build a one-stop shop.

She already was performing CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasounds. She added new mammography, biopsy and low-dose, digital X-ray equipment. She hired interior designer Marie Wikoff of Reno to create a spa-like environment for relaxation and healing, from sea foam-colored club chairs to grass-weave shades on windows.

Chege was diagnosed with breast cancer at 43, a year after having her second child. If she hadn't skipped her mammogram a year earlier, she said, the Stage 2 cancer would have been caught earlier.

Cancer-free for 10 years, Chege said: "I never skip a mammogram now. I'm very passionate about it. Cancer has no respect for anything, for nobody. It doesn't matter what you are in life, how many children you have or how many people need you … or how healthy you are."

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