By Debbie Grech
November 30, 2005

Keenan's Kloset has unique fashions and treasures for the 'diva' in every woman

Some might call it fate or being in the right place at the right time. But if you ask Attracta Keenan,! owner of Keenan's Kloset, she will tell you it was the "Luck of the Irish" that led her to 1610 Francisco Blvd. in Sharp Park late last spring. After 25 years of working for corporate America, this Irish "lass" is finally her own boss and doing what she loves.

One visit to Keenan's Kloset and you will see this is her passion. From the uniqueness of her hand-painted fashion signs to her custom-made bistro table, her personal touches are everywhere. Her flair for fashion is as noticeable as her red hair and her gift for spotting the unique is as striking as her warm smile. From fashion forward designs to utter sophistication, she carries something for the "diva" in all of us.

Every time I've wandered into her boutique, I can't help but buy several treasures - from a raspberry-colored pants suit to wash and wear yoga pants, from a tiny pewter fairy to a "Marilynn Monroe" lipstick case.

Recently she held a "Girls Night Out" and I took my 24-year-old daughter, Krista. Besides serving wine and appetizers, everything was 20 percent off. Krista found some of her own treasures - a beaded candle holder, gaucho pants, a white cowboy hat and a fun island tote.

I found, also, a vintage-looking Christmas pin (now I can't wait until the holidays!) and a green two piece ensemble to die for! I checked out the label - Nancy Wilder of Tiburon, CA. Surely, this is a mistake. A clothes designer in Pacifica? Attracta tells me she does indeed live here (in fact, she's a "surfer girl" in Sharp Park) and that, while Nancy sells to high end stores, she gives fellow home town businesswoman Attracta some delicious bargains, which of course are passed on to her customers.

Attracta plans to host these special "Girl's Night Out" events monthly and plans are also underway for a "tea bag" event (presenting the radiant designer purses of Mary Frances) at the new Tranquilitea Tea Room a few shops down.

Besides carrying the designs of Nancy Wilder, Attracta carries other fine items by Pacifica artists. You can discover handmade fabric purses by Peggy Ausejo-Espinoza, delicate beaded jewelry by Mami Frater, jewelry "art" by Iris Sandkühler (who is featured in the Museum of Craft and Folk Art gift shop), and Swarovski crystal jewels by mother and daughter Arlene Ryan and Melinda Reed.

Attracta, who has lived in Pacifica the past 10 years, was raised by an Irish mother and a Scottish father. She spent part of her childhood at schools in Ireland and for many years, she along with her four siblings, took Irish dancing, Gaelic lessons and even learned the bag pipes.

Her daughter Kaitlyn, 13 years old, lends her "teenage eye" and helps bring the "funky" to the showroom while her fiance Steve dresses her window and does all the needed handyman work. Her many friends have also been a tremendous support for her, she said, especially during the first few hectic months.

Attracta knows first hand what stress being a busy mom can bring so she offers a variety of options for today's schedule-challenged woman such as extended hours upon request and private fashion parties. One of her favorite ideas is "The Hostess with the Mostess" parties where the "hostess" invites friends for an evening of shopping and receives 40 percent off her purchases. She also offers gift certificates and a layaway plan.

"The best part about being my own boss is being able to create an unhurried environment my clients would enjoy shopping in," exclaims Atttracta, who is definitely not a pushy proprietor. "Getting to know them and form relationships has been one of the perks of the job. What could be better? Meeting new people all day and shopping for a living!"

Attracta is always on the lookout for that "must have" item and, because she buys in small amounts, you won't see everyone with it. She claims "I have never met a fabric I didn't like, from leopard prints to Victorian lace, from funky jeans to classic ensembles."

Check out the latest fashions and unique gifts at Keenan's Kloset. Located at 1610 Francisco Blvd., her hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 and Thursday and Friday 12-7. Or call 650-355-1770 to schedule a private appointment or fashion party. Attracta, whose enthusiasm is contagious, is always happy to greet a new face. I know I'll be back on my never-ending quest for treasures.

Pacifica Tribune
November 30, 2005

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