Leading Ladies 2016

Denise Squillante

Owners – Deni's Closet


There’s something about shopping at small, independently owned boutiques that you just can’t recreate at the mall. Not only will you find interesting items from lesser known designers, but you’re also supporting a community. Denise Squillante and her daughter Laura Pires have lived in Westport for almost 30 years, and their fashionable shop Deni’s Closet has become a fixture in the community. “Small business is the heartbeat of a community,” Denise explains. “Opening Deni’s Closet fulfilled two goals: supporting small business in the Westport Central Village community and satisfying our love of fashion.”

Deni’s is a boutique for women of all ages who want style and an updated wardrobe. They carry beautiful dresses, special occasion jackets, jeans for women, and names that you would find in the most distinctive department stores. “We’re known for our hand knit sweaters and stylish jewelry,” Denise says. “Often, women will come into the store looking to update a dress or an outfit with that perfect accessory, and our staff is willing to help them find it.” Among the stylish inventory: tailored jackets, sought-after handbags, perfectly fit denim and sweet underthings. Deni’s also stocks miss and plus sizes, including dresses, so there’s truly something for everyone.

“In my view, shoppers are moving away from the ‘big box’ stores,” Denise explains. “Personal attention, service and quality clothing and accessories are what women are looking for.” That level of personal customer service is a given at Deni’s Closet. While the selection might be bigger if you’re shopping online, that personal element is missing, and it’s the best part of the shopping experience. Customers also feel good about supporting independent merchants, who strengthen the community and give visitors a good reason to stay and explore. She says, “with various promotions being sponsored by businesses such as American Express, people seem to have a better understanding as to how important small business is to the local economy.”

Both Denise and Laura come from fashionable backgrounds. Before attending law school, Denise worked for a textile company in their marketing division “It was there that I learned about fabric, fashion-forward planning and style, while meeting designers from all over the world,” she says. That fashionable sensibility runs in the family. “My daughter has traveled to various trade shows since she was younger and she has her own sense of style,” Denise says. “She brings trendy earrings into inventory and targets new fashion. Last year, she brought in Betsey Johnson bathing suits for a new swimwear line, and we’ll be bringing in her new styles for this season.”

Deni’s stocks bathing suits and resortwear year round. It may not be beach season in New England just yet, but vacations are always in season. This month, the store is open Tuesday-Saturday, but starting in April they will be open seven days a week. Even when you can’t get to the store, there are plenty of ways to stay connected to the newest fashions at Deni’s. “We have an email list for shoppers to stay on top of our new styles and promotions,” Deni says. They also have a Facebook page (facebook.com/deniscloset) and a beautifully curated Instagram feed (@denis_closet) that showcases what’s new in the store, and what’s on sale. For clothing with heart and an unforgettable sense of style, skip the mall and shop at Deni’s Closet.

937 Main Road, Westport • 508-636-0063 • www.deniscloset.comwww.facebook.com/deniscloset