Fashionable yet affordable Pitaya women's boutique opens on South State
If you’re looking for trendy women’s fashion without the sticker shock, a new Ann Arbor boutique might be the shop for you.
Pitaya, a small chain of trendy, affordable clothing boutiques for teens and young women, has found a new home on South State Street.
Pitaya opened its 16th store nationwide Friday in space once occupied by Shaman Drum Bookshop. It is the second Pitaya in Michigan. A Royal Oak store opened four years ago, and is the company’s second largest store in terms of sales, said owner Michael Mazor.
Pitaya - The Details
Pitaya’s price points range from $12 T-shirts to $69 jeans, and inventory is turned over rapidly. “We change our merchandise every week significantly,” Mazor said. The Pitaya label is sewn in the United States and accounts for about 20 percent of the inventory.
“We have trendy, cute, inexpensive (women’s) clothing,” Mazor said. “We have a lot of designer copies.”
Mazor said he has been looking to open an Ann Arbor location for years, but had limited his search to just South State Street storefronts. He said he wanted space where town met gown.
His customer base ranges from 13 to 35, and he wanted to capitalize on the student population, but also be accessible to local customers.
Mazor began negotiating to take over part of the 1,840-square-feet of space when the Shaman Drum Bookshop closed this summer. In fact, Mazor said he had his eye on the space even before the bookstore announced its closing.
“I thought Shaman Drum might not be making it because of what’s happening to book stores all over,” said Mazor, who would not comment on the terms of his lease.
He contracted for the build-out, adding wood floors, dressing rooms and lighting, in September, and began moving his stock in on Wednesday. When the certificate of occupancy was issued late Thursday, contractors were still putting finishing touches on the building, and staff was busy hanging clothes and stocking shelves.
Mazor opened his first Pitaya in his hometown of Bloomington, IN in 1990. He was familiar with Ann Arbor, he said, from the days when he sold Guatemalan imports as a street vendor during the summer art fairs. He also sold the imports wholesale in the area.
“I’ve always liked Ann Arbor, and I always thought it would be a perfect fit. I think it’s underserved for what we do,” he said.
Pitaya stores are spread around the country, from Seattle to Athens, GA., but the majority are located in the Midwest. Mazor said he selects locations based on livability.
“I put them in places where staff will enjoy themselves, both in and out of the store,” he said. He expects to have a staff of 10 once the hiring is complete. He said he had no present plans for a 17th store.