OCEAN CITY – The owners of Crazy Ladyz, Jan Patterson-Hohman and Louise Reardon, worked for many years in a “man’s world” until they picked up a hobby in fashion and turned it into a new career.
Patterson-Hohman explained she worked as a headhunter for 35 years in the Washington D.C. area finding others’ jobs in the technology field. She owned her business in the headhunting industry for 25 years, and for the last 12 she took on Reardon, who was once a client, as a partner in her business.
“Crazy Ladyz started as a hobby when we bought a store in Chincoteague,” Patterson-Hohman said, who vacationed on the island since she was 19. “I looked at it as an opportunity. I cannot sell anything I don’t believe in. I have to sell what I love and what I am passionate about … and it was an opportunity to be in a women’s world, so I was really excited.”
The Crazy Ladyz boutique opened in Chincoteague in 2004 as a year-long business.
“What started as a hobby just flourished,” Patterson-Hohman said. “I personally went down and worked it every single weekend. I loved it … I went from techno geeks to finally a women’s world.”
Crazy Ladyz was open for two years in Chicoteague when Patterson-Hohman and Reardon decided to move from the Annapolis area to Ocean Pines.
“We had a lot of customers who came from this [Ocean City] area down to Chincoteague, and many people were saying we should have a store up here,” Patterson-Hohman said. “It was very scary leaving a full-time, well-established business that I had to just selling clothing but we did.”
In 2007, Crazy Ladyz opened its second location in West Ocean City, and Patterson-Hohman and Reardon were operating both locations for a period of time until a new opportunity came up and the Chincoteague location moved to Ocean View, Del. in April of 2012.
In February of this year, Crazy Ladyz in West Ocean City moved to its current location on Route 50 next to Monkeys Trunk from about a mile up the street where it was located for five years.
“We pride ourselves in no matter what size you are or shape you are we can make you beautiful,” Patterson-Hohman said. “You don’t have to wear tons of makeup; we can dress you to make you look flattering and beautiful.”
Crazy Ladyz merchandise is described as out of the box goods, fun and casual wear that serves the missy customer. They offer everything from clothing to handbags, sandals, and many different accessories, such as hats scarves and all types of jewelry.
At any given time, Crazy Ladyz carries at least 100 different lines at a time having goods delivered every day.
“We are never heavy in a particular line so we always say, ‘if you see it you better get it because we are not getting it back in’,” Patterson-Hohman said. “We don’t look to sell anything, the merchandise should sell itself. We work in making recommendations.”
Currently, Crazy Ladyz is looking into designing their own line for both the missy and plus size customer.
“We feel there are not enough fun offerings, especially for the plus size customer,” Patterson-Hohman said. “For me, ideas get started when there is a deficiency, and I figure if we can’t find it well then we will design it, so we are in the process now of talking to people who can make them here in the U.S., and maybe even locally.”
Crazy Ladyz has a price point for everyone and has developed a loyal customer base traveling near and far to take part in their shopping experience.
“We say we’re all crazy ladies because we are all crazy to a certain point,” Patterson-Hohman said. “We have a fun offering. Our customers are beautiful people. It has really been a heartwarming experience. Louise and I have a very strong business background for one but we eat, sleep and breathe customer service and we are only as good as the last sale we make.”
Walking into Crazy Ladyz becomes a shopping experience as the customer is offered a drink, whether it’s coffee, tea or an adult beverage and a treat. Depending on the day or the time of year, there may also be an event in progress.
For example, Crazy Ladyz is also one of the organizers of the event Death by Chocolate annually as well as several different fundraisers for Women Supporting Women, the local shelter Diakonia and Worcester County Gold.
Two Crazy Ladyz cruises have been held so far benefiting Women Supporting Women. In the first year, 40 women attended, and the second year 60 women attended, and next year they are looking to travel to an all-inclusive resort.
“It has become a ladies gathering place. You never know what will be going on at Crazy Ladyz,” Patterson-Hohman said. “We love what we do. I just can’t explain it. I have had two great careers, and Louise and I feel very fortunate to have two careers and to start this career late in life … it is a labor of love and I am very passionate about what we do.”