Fashionistas routinely pass through Simply Smashing! in downtown Campbell to admire and purchase the boutique’s stylish apparel and accessories. The boutique began in 2000 as a place where mothers and daughters could choose fabrics and design their own matching pieces—they could even get matching outfits for their dolls. Shop owner Deb Rohzen quickly found that she wanted more for her little boutique, so she began seeking out designer styles. In the years that followed, the boutique expanded twice by moving into larger spaces—all located in Campbell.
The boutique’s racks are filled with one-of-a-kind pieces that speak to women’s expansive style palates, and works by local artists are hung on the walls. “We support local artists and makers,” Rohzen says. “Many of our makers of jewelry/handbags/accessories/gifts are local, and most are women. The lion’s share of their work is handmade, re-purposed, and one of a kind.” The goal is to create a space where women can enjoy the quintessential boutique experience. The store’s motto is simple: “Be true to yourself!”
In addition to maintaining a storefront, Simply Smashing! hosts enticing and chic affairs, sometimes offering bubbly or martinis. Rohzen explains, “We love to throw soirées to shine a light on art and fashion—boutique style.” The unique shopping experience is also a great way to foster relationships between customers, artists, and style.
One such soirée will take place from 2pm to 5pm on the afternoon of April 1, 2017. Rohzen recently invited local artists to curate art installations in the Simply Smashing! front window, and San Jose-based artist-extraordinaire Charlotte Kruk responded with her Circo, Cirque, Circus; SuperChocolateCircus. At the soirée, visitors will be able to meet Kruk and enjoy her window-art installation, showcasing a papier-mâché wonderland of costumes made entirely from recycled chocolate wrappers.
Kruk’s wearable sculptures are designed to “slyly wink” at a culture that often refers to women as embellishments, or eye candy. She hopes to spark dialogue on packaging, brand association, and power structure, as well as inspire commentary on the “gluttony and wastefulness of a disposable, packaged society.”
Rohzen and her employees are excited by local art such this, especially the art of repurposing, and they love sharing it with their like-minded customers. Kruk’s work fits right in, and Rohzen is thrilled to have it in Simply Smashing!’s front window.
Written by Brandy Miceli
Photography by Arabela Espinoza