True Addiction Clothing Boutique

Michelle Kristoffersen established her successful clothing boutique True Addiction three years ago to provide local women with reasonably priced, contemporary feminine fashion.

While some people crave adventure and others pine for a shaded hammock, a sizeable number get their kicks on freewheeling shopping sprees. Three years ago, in a moment of insight, retailer Michelle Kristoffersen tapped into the latter when she opened a boutique and called it “True Addiction.”

“I was trying to come up with a name,” Kristoffersen remembers with a laugh, “and my girlfriend was doing tequila and oyster shooters. Someone said, ‘Oh, my gosh, what’s she doing?’ And I said, ‘yeah, it’s a true addiction.’ I thought, ‘Hmm, that’s great, so is shopping!’ It just popped into my head.”
The cozy boutique, located in Frederik’s Court, boasts a tantalizing array of stylish women’s clothing, from jeans to boots to wraps and everything in between. Specialties include IT and Celebrity Pink jeans, Matisse footwear and a line of shirts from Alternative, as well as designer and costume jewelry.
Kristoffersen describes her inventory as “feminine contemporary, very soft and flowy” and loves heading to the Los Angeles and Las Vegas markets to make her selections.
“I love to shop and I like to do hands-on buying,” she declares, “to touch my product before I buy it. A lot of boutique owners order off the Internet or from pictures in a catalog, but I need to make sure everything is soft and put together right before it comes in.”
To accessorize the clothes, Kristoffersen stocks a marvelous array of both designer and costume jewelry at a variety of price points.
“I have a new local artist, Chris Ward, who makes charm necklaces and fashion pieces,” she reveals. “She does tiny necklaces and rings that are beautiful, as well as big, chunky statement pieces.
“I also carry Anna Beck,” she continues, “a designer out of L.A. who makes jewelry with hammered beads. It’s very simple and elegant. And I carry inexpensive costume jewelry, too.”
Born in Ohio, Kristoffersen came to the Santa Ynez Valley 15 years ago to visit a fellow wheelchair tennis player.
“The mountains brought me here,” she says. “When I came to California, I fell in love with it. I moved out here two months later.”
Always a fan of fashion, Kris-toffersen conceptualized a line of UV-safe sun and swimming gear for children. Discouraged by the daunting competition posed by the larger, more well established companies, however, she opted for a different route.
“Being down in L.A. and getting my foot in the door with the business,” she says, “made me decide I wanted to do something in that industry. So, I opened a boutique.”
Kristoffersen uses her instincts when buying for the store, following the trends and bringing in styles to suit the season. Her tactics have paid off, for her clientele includes shoppers of all ages and walks of life.
“I am extremely eclectic,” she smiles, “though most of my inventory caters to women who are around thirty to fifty-five. That’s my target market. I have some products that older women can wear, like wraps and things, but I also have leggings and fun boots.
“My basic, everyday items can go for different age groups,” she continues, “but I get people coming in who are thirteen to eighty, and that’s no joke.”
Kristoffersen welcomes Solvang visitors to her boutique, but her overriding goal is to provide locals with a viable alternative to out-of-town retailers.
“The purpose of my store is to offer more affordable clothing that’s not all designer brands,” she explains. “That’s my thing. If you want to buy a really nice piece, I have some of that, but you can also find something that’s inexpensive.”
Twice a year, at the beginning of spring and the end of summer, True Addiction hosts progressive sales to clear out the past season’s goods. Kristoffersen slashes prices 40% on Friday, 50% on Saturday, 60% on Sunday, and if there’s anything left, a stunning 70% on Monday.
Throughout the year, though, prices are usually just as tempting, because Kristoffersen keeps a lot of deals on hand. Among them are Alternative tanks, selling for $21 instead of the dealer-recommended $35, and high-end T-shirts, always marked down from $40 to $25.
“I try to make it so people can come in and get nice things” she says, “and not feel like they’ve spent a fortune, just because they couldn’t drive somewhere else to shop.
“I consider customers from out of town to be my bonus,” she adds, “but I cater to the locals, that’s who I want to see in my store.”

While some people crave adventure and others pine for a shaded hammock, a sizeable number get their kicks on freewheeling shopping sprees. Three years ago, in a moment of insight, retailer Michelle Kristoffersen tapped into the latter when she opened a boutique and called it “True Addiction.” “I was trying to come up with a name,” Kristoffersen remembers with a laugh, “and my girlfriend was doing tequila and oyster shooters. Someone said, ‘Oh, my gosh, what’s she doing?’ And I said, ‘yeah, it’s a true addiction.’ I thought, ‘Hmm, that’s great, so is shopping!’ It just popped into my head.” The cozy boutique, located in Frederik’s Court, boasts a tantalizing array of stylish women’s clothing, from jeans to boots to wraps and everything in between. Specialties include IT and Celebrity Pink jeans, Matisse footwear and a line of shirts from Alternative, as well as designer and costume jewelry. Kristoffersen describes her inventory as “feminine contemporary, very soft and flowy” and loves heading to the Los Angeles and Las Vegas markets to make her selections. “I love to shop and I like to do hands-on buying,” she declares, “to touch my product before I buy it. A lot of boutique owners order off the Internet or from pictures in a catalog, but I need to make sure everything is soft and put together right before it comes in.” To accessorize the clothes, Kristoffersen stocks a marvelous array of both designer and costume jewelry at a variety of price points. “I have a new local artist, Chris Ward, who makes charm necklaces and fashion pieces,” she reveals. “She does tiny necklaces and rings that are beautiful, as well as big, chunky statement pieces. “I also carry Anna Beck,” she continues, “a designer out of L.A. who makes jewelry with hammered beads. It’s very simple and elegant. And I carry inexpensive costume jewelry, too.” Born in Ohio, Kristoffersen came to the Santa Ynez Valley 15 years ago to visit a fellow wheelchair tennis player. “The mountains brought me here,” she says. “When I came to California, I fell in love with it. I moved out here two months later.” Always a fan of fashion, Kris-toffersen conceptualized a line of UV-safe sun and swimming gear for children. Discouraged by the daunting competition posed by the larger, more well established companies, however, she opted for a different route. “Being down in L.A. and getting my foot in the door with the business,” she says, “made me decide I wanted to do something in that industry. So, I opened a boutique.” Kristoffersen uses her instincts when buying for the store, following the trends and bringing in styles to suit the season. Her tactics have paid off, for her clientele includes shoppers of all ages and walks of life. “I am extremely eclectic,” she smiles, “though most of my inventory caters to women who are around thirty to fifty-five. That’s my target market. I have some products that older women can wear, like wraps and things, but I also have leggings and fun boots. “My basic, everyday items can go for different age groups,” she continues, “but I get people coming in who are thirteen to eighty, and that’s no joke.” Kristoffersen welcomes Solvang visitors to her boutique, but her overriding goal is to provide locals with a viable alternative to out-of-town retailers. “The purpose of my store is to offer more affordable clothing that’s not all designer brands,” she explains. “That’s my thing. If you want to buy a really nice piece, I have some of that, but you can also find something that’s inexpensive.” Twice a year, at the beginning of spring and the end of summer, True Addiction hosts progressive sales to clear out the past season’s goods. Kristoffersen slashes prices 40% on Friday, 50% on Saturday, 60% on Sunday, and if there’s anything left, a stunning 70% on Monday. Throughout the year, though, prices are usually just as tempting, because Kristoffersen keeps a lot of deals on hand. Among them are Alternative tanks, selling for $21 instead of the dealer-recommended $35, and high-end T-shirts, always marked down from $40 to $25. “I try to make it so people can come in and get nice things” she says, “and not feel like they’ve spent a fortune, just because they couldn’t drive somewhere else to shop. “I consider customers from out of town to be my bonus,” she adds, “but I cater to the locals, that’s who I want to see in my store.”

True Addiction (686-2868) is located at 485 Alisal Rd, Unit HIA, Solvang, next to the Book Loft. Hours are Wed., Fri., Sat., 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Mon., Tues., Thurs., 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

by K. Reka Badger
photos by Connie Cody