With a combination of makeup, trendy clothing, flashy accessories and reasonable prices, Toronjil Boutique is a one-stop shop for fashionistas in Harford County.
Located on Washington Street in Havre de Grace next to La Cucina Italian Restaurant, the women’s boutique opened in July 2017 after operating as an online cosmetics business.
“I’m very passionate about fashion and women’s beauty,” says owner Melissa Chichester, an Orange, N.J., native who moved to Havre de Grace six years ago after visiting her older sister there. “I want to enhance women’s beauty.”
In addition to moving, Chichester, who worked in human resources when she lived in New Jersey, changed careers when she embarked on this entrepreneurial venture.
“Life changes and the opportunity to be in a smaller, slow-paced environment brought me to Havre de Grace,” she says. “I came here several times. I kind of fell in love with the place — the whole area.”
Chichester, 38, switched her career focus after researching the cosmetics industry.
“I did a bit of research as to what line of business had longevity. Cosmetics and fashion are some of the longest-standing businesses,” explains Chichester.
She pursued cosmetics — in a large part — to address a lack of products for women with oily and combination skin.
“I have the issue,” she says. “I wanted to provide products so that people with oily and combination skin could go out there and find something that wasn’t a store brand. I’ve had great feedback. We do very well with our cosmetics.”
The 2,400-square-foot boutique, with its exterior mint-colored wall and exposed brick, is split into two parts. The front half is a cosmetics salon selling Chichester’s line of cosmetics, which includes lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow, eyeliners, lip liners, liquid and cream foundation, and 14 shades of nail polish. Her products are vegan-friendly and are not animal-tested.
The back portion of the business is dedicated to women’s fashion.
Chichester sells handbags by popular designers such as Adrianna Papell, Sam Edelman and Betsey Johnson. Her apparel, which includes dresses, jackets and jumpsuits, is mostly priced at $50 or less.
Cheryl Fanfair has been to the boutique three times since it opened after she discovered it on a trip to Maryland from Orange, N.J., which is her hometown as well as Chichester’s. She’s purchased makeup, several dresses and a pair of beige kitten heel shoes.
“I love the product there,” says Fanfair, who makes the trip to the boutique for trunk shows and to get her makeup done for special events. “My makeup is flawless. I like the treatment that I get there.”
The boutique, whose name means Melissa in Spanish, provides a membership system in which customers can pay $39.95 a month for customized makeup palettes; 25 percent discount off the entire store; exclusive invitations to trunk shows; free shipping on orders $75 or more; and free makeup consultations.
In addition, the boutique sells pins and T-shirts raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease, with sales from those products going to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
“The response so far has been great,” Chichester says. “We have customers who say it’s been a long time coming. It’s classy with a relaxed feel. They are really excited that we are here.”
If You Go
101 N. Washington St. No. B, Havre De Grace