– Layla Bozich, staff

A little slice of royalty quietly resides a few blocks from the Laurier Brantford campus at 33 King Street, where 4th year Laurier student Nicole Consorti admirably tries to balance the stress of her school workload with the challenging task of managing her own business.

The Queen’s Closet is Consorti’s brand name consignment boutique that offers both men’s and women’s fashion. The shop opened early last December and is a refreshing addition to downtown Brantford. The Queen’s Closet offers unique and reasonably priced pieces from Versace, JS Collections, Guess, and Michael Kors, just to name a few. Consorti feels that because consignment shops are a growing trend, Brantford is a perfect spot to introduce one of her own.

“I like it because it’s mine, and it’s a vision that I had and I’ve put it together,” Consorti says, taking a break from the essay she was writing for school during the downtime of the shop.

The shop has a distinct 1950s vibe to it, hand-decorated by Consorti with vintage wallpaper and photos of popular fashion icons from the era adorning the walls.

“I think I’m a little more classic in the way I like to dress,” she says. “I love Audrey Hepburn and Chanel.”

Before beginning her studies at Laurier Brantford, Consorti achieved a two-year diploma in Marketing and a one-year post-graduate in International Business Management at Mohawk College. “In marketing, we had to go through all the steps of putting together a store in theory,” Consorti explains. “I feel proud because I actually did it in reality.”

Marlene Delong, a devoted customer of The Queen’s Closet, held the open house for the shop on Jan. 21. She brought the Girls ‘n Pearls Society, a group of approximately 10 loyal ladies who enjoy shopping, networking, and exchanging interesting fashion finds with each other. They were impressed by Consorti’s selection and look forward to continuing to support her efforts.

Delong started shopping at The Queen’s Closet about a month and a half ago after something in the window caught her daughter’s eye. She fell in love with Consorti’s select pieces, and felt that her networking abilities would help bring in residents from northern Brantford who may not venture downtown very often.

“If you want high end, you have to go to retail [stores],” says Delong. “I don’t have time to go through those racks.” She appreciates the comfortable and very warm atmosphere of The Queen’s Closet, offered not just by the small size, but by Consorti herself.

Though Consorti admits that she needs to step up when it comes to advertising her business, the store does have many exciting and upcoming events. The Queen’s Closet will be showcasing pieces at St. Leo’s Performance and Talent Show on March 22 at the Sanderson Centre, organized by Delong.

From flashy dresses to one-of-a-kind shoes to sophisticated jackets, The Queen’s Closet is quickly becoming the hidden gem of downtown Brantford.