Business Spotlight — The Enchantress: Beauty and fit in comfortable, larger sizes at Pacific Beach/San Diego boutique


You might say it’s all in the family. Michelle Klein, who manages The Enchantress boutique in Pacific Beach, is the daughter of Jerry Klein, owner of A Better Deal Tuxedo in Bird Rock. Her dad, Michelle says, is “an amazing businessman. He’s given me the work ethic I have. He’s taught me all of his little tricks of the trade.”

But Michelle Klein’s trade is not in formal wear but in lingerie and swimwear. The 13-year-old store, originally located in Mission Valley and then in Old Town before relocating a little more than a year ago near the Catamaran Hotel in P.B., specializes in fitting full-figured women who aren’t able to find what they’re looking for in intimate or beach attire at the mall.

For Klein, servicing this clientele is not only good business, but goodwill. “These women who come in, we have a personal experience with them,” she said. “Sometimes when they leave the store they are crying, saying ‘Thank you, I feel so much better about myself.’ We spend a lot of time with them and give them what makes them feel comfortable.

“For me, it’s a woman helping other women thing.”

The Enchantress caters not only to plus-size clients, but to women who have had mastectomies or other surgeries that present fitting issues. Klein says no other store in San Diego is doing what she is, which explains why customers come from as far away as East County. Some regular customers, she added, only recently discovered that The Enchantress had relocated to the beach area. “We’re still getting people calling and saying ‘I can’t believe I found you. I thought you’d gone out of business,’” said Klein.

Why not more stores like The Enchantress, selling lingerie or swimwear to full figured women? Klein suggests that the advertising industry is partly to blame, fostering the perception that this clothing is for slender bodies alone. “The fact of the matter,” Klein counters, “is that more than 50 percent of the general public is full figured. They’re not Barbie dolls.”

Through her personal customer service, Klein hopes to impart a message as well as make a sale. That message? “Be happy with your body. It doesn’t matter what size you are. The more comfortable clothing and intimate apparel you have on, the better you’re going to feel about yourself.”

This empowering message aside, Klein points out that The Enchantress does carry every size, lingerie and swimwear available in the store or via its website:

If you happen to be in the store, however, you’ll discover that Michelle Klein learned something else from her father, Jerry: “I can look at someone like my dad does,” she said, “and I can size them up in a second.”

The Enchantress, 4125 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. (619) 294-4544.

The Business Spotlight features commercial enterprises that support the La Jolla Light.