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About Us

Born in Hollywood, Paula Alder wanted to be an actress and a singer. “I wanted to be Barbra Striesand, to tell the truth.” A good student, she was the lead in several plays, sang for school events, and was “obsessed with dress.” By graduation, she was voted “Most Likely to become a Star,” AND “Best Dressed.” A consummate clotheshorse with the fashion sense to match, she graduated from UCSC with a degree in aesthetic studies and psych, stayed in Santa Cruz, and went on to become a psychotherapist. But her Inner Clotheshorse beckoned; making people over psychologically just wasn’t enough. She longed to make over the whole person. So, in April, 1997 she started her own clothing business in Los Gatos. Now, she and daughter Jessica own and operate Smith Alder Fine Clothing and Art Jewelry in Santana Row—a very successful and distinctive women’s boutique in a new, upscale outdoor shopping center. Smith Alder specializes in classic and cutting–edge, one-of-a-kind and limited edition small-studio designers (beautifully created and crafted designs, mostly made here in the USA), and superior personal customer service. With her small, highly trained staff, they outfit women from head to toe, as well as providing Closet Coaching (helping women to prioritize, organize, accessorize, and build their wardrobes--by going straight to their closets)-“my skills as a therapist, coach, and artist are used every day in every way! And my daughter, Jess, is an integral part of the biz. She is model, co-buyer, ‘Closet Coach’ partner, and best friend.”

Closet Coaching and Fashion Therapy

Is your closet full, but you still feel like you have nothing to wear? Can't find the pieces you want when you actually want to wear them? You just don't know how to put together what is currently in your closet? We can help!! With many years of fashion consulting experience (and Paula's experience as a therapist and coach) we will help you transform your closet from disorganized disaster to user-friendly. Phone 408-260-7555 and ask for Jessica Alder or Paula Smith Alder, LCSW. 831-435-8783

Paula Smith Alder

Jessica Smith Alder

sophisticated sportswear | designer womenswear | hand-loomed knits and hand-dyed fabrics | hand-crafted art jewelry | accessories | home

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