4b-mimi-james1After a six-year run, Mimi James is closing 4B, her women’s clothing boutique, to concentrate on the private-service side of her business. (Click to enlarge)



It’s been a good run, says Mimi James.

The owner of 4B, a women’s clothing boutique in Red Bank, said that even with the sharp economic downturn that began in late 2008, her business has never lost money.

Still, the store that took its name from its original address on West Front Street – it’s now just a few doors away, adjacent to the Downtown Café – will close for good Sunday.

Why? Well, when she launched the store, in 2005, James had one child. Now, she has three.

Plus she has a lucrative side-gig: wardrobe consultant to a dozen private clients, professional women who employ her to shop for their clothing and advise them on what to wear and when. She even compiles “look books” for some to guide them “so they don’t get stuck” trying to figure out what to wear on what occasion.

“They have jobs, they have babies – it’s not what they do,” she said. “It’s what I do.”

The retail side, well, “you really need to be present and in it 100 percent,” said James, and she no longer is. “The store isn’t my first priority now,” she said.

So with her lease up at the end of the month, the Red Bank resident has decided to make a change.

The space, James said, is being taken over by her friend, Amy Manor, an interior designer who will use it as an office and showroom to the trade.

“It’s all very serendipitous,” James said of the wind-down.