A longtime resident of Orange, Laureen Froemke has longed dreamed of opening a women’s apparel boutique in Old Towne. That dream is now a reality with the recent grand opening of Zae’s Boutique at 140 South Glassell.
After outgrowing her former shop in Anaheim Hills, Laureen thoroughly transformed her new space previously occupied by Old Towne merchant, The Charming Shoppe. Showcasing new dressing rooms, wood floors and attractive lighting, Zae’s Boutique conjures an antique “vibe,” while providing a soothing backdrop for the great selections of fashion-forward finds.
“We get new items in every week that are unique, trendy and one of a kind,” says Laureen, pointing to the array of dresses, sweaters, blouses, tops and mix-and-match outfits for customers of all ages. “These are pieces that you won’t find at other boutiques. We have college kids coming in, as well as moms, millennials and families. People really enjoy our store and pricing.”
In addition to apparel, Zae’s Boutique offers hats, shoes, scarves, lingerie, jewelry, handbags and more. There’s also a selection of home accessories, like wine totes, candles, pillows, blankets and decorator items. “Smuggle Your Booze” stealth flasks are just some of the seasonal “gag” gifts on display.
Laureen says her store is unique in that she offers only six pieces at one time of any given item. Her customers appreciate the opportunity to find unique outfits by designers that Laureen has worked with for the last six years.
“We love our denim line,” says Laureen. “We are always changing our inventory, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. But there is always something new and exciting coming in every week.”
Laureen isn’t the only member of her family to own a business in Old Towne. Her husband’s venerable Truck Shop Car Shop on Batavia is a fixture in Old Towne for more than 30 years.
According to Laureen, the boutique was once the lobby of the old movie theater in Orange. When renovating the interior of the space, she uncovered original windows from the historic building that were stowed above the ceiling.
“I’ve lived in Orange most of my life,” says Laureen. “I’ve always loved collecting antiques and exploring the shops of Old Towne. When this space came available, the timing was perfect. The merchants here are so welcoming. It’s great to have a women’s boutique on this side of the Plaza again.”
Zae’s Boutique 40 South Glassell St, Orange CA 92866 / 714-974-9237
Published in the Jan/Feb 2017 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review
Written by Karen Anderson, Photograph by Michelle James
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