Haley Ochoa jokes that fashion is in her DNA.
Her great-grandparents were milliners in Illinois, her grandmother later took over the business, and she herself owned upscale Posh Boutique, 6536 E. Tanque Verde Road, which she converted into a high-end designer resale consignment shop.
The real proof that fashion’s in the bloodline: Ochoa’s 5-year-old daughter, Tennyson, is already amassing a collection of fluffy-skirted confections.
“I’ve created a monster,” Haley says. “She asks me every morning, ‘Can I see my options, please?’”
Tennyson’s favorite spot in their east-side home decorated with antiques, family heirlooms and summer-camp art projects: her mother’s freshly redone closet, complete with chandelier and chaise longue. She’s insisted on eating breakfast here a few times.
Ochoa’s husband, Stephen, is no slouch himself in the fashion department — although his ensembles for Tennyson must first have “mommy approval” after a disastrous Facebook photo posting. He’s a fan of Prada footwear and he actually owns more than two pairs of shoes.
Still, he got a whole, new education in women’s fashion after meeting Haley. The thirty-somethings have been married nearly seven years.
“I definitely learned a lot about the high-end designer industry,” he says.
“Crash course. No helmet,” chimes in Haley, who swaps banter with Stephen like a sitcom couple.
He’s a star student, as evidenced by the contents of his wife’s closet.
Exhibit A: The snow-white Chanel bag he gifted her. Tucked away in a quilted box — that looks Chanel-ish but is in fact from Home Goods, $24.99 — is Exhibit B: dangly pear-shaped diamond earrings that Haley had lusted after for months, and Stephen gave her one day while she was brushing her teeth.
“He is an amazing gift giver,” Haley says.
“My mother always said you never give anything that plugs in,” explains Stephen, who co-owns Frost A Gelato Shoppe, which is expected to open its first Middle Eastern outpost next month.
Haley’s new closet is one to envy and not just for its contents — it takes up an entire guestroom.
“We have one child, and we don’t really like people,” Haley jokes. “No one ever stays with us, so I figured why not? I was taking up all the other closets — I had to go to three different closets to get dressed. I used to have handbags in Tupperware in the pantry.”
She reused espresso-colored California Closet shelves she’d saved from a previous house, and had the company reconfigure them. Now, Haley’s prized handbags are properly displayed, along with her “Sex and the City” worthy shoe collection.
Still, not everything fits.
“She was yelling because she ran out of room,” Tennyson says, ratting out her mom.
Yes, Haley admits, the new closet isn’t quite big enough. Skirts and coats still reside in Stephen’s closet.
She points out that at least she has a penchant for pretty things. “I’m not collecting creepy gnomes.”