Popular women's store founders next up in Entrepreneurship Series

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Photo of Patti Reinholt and Susan Terranella-Hoffman.

Reinholt and Terranella-Hoffman

KALAMAZOO—The co-founders of one of downtown Kalamazoo's most popular retail stores for women's clothing will be the next presenters in a Western Michigan University speaker series that focuses on entrepreneurship.

Patti Reinholt and Susan Terranella-Hoffman, co-founders of Cakes Boutique, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in 2150 Schneider Hall as part of the Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Kayla Hunt at (269) 387-6059 or kayla.j.hunt@wmich.edu. Free parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

Opening a women's clothing boutique in downtown Kalamazoo was a dream that Reinholt and Terranella-Hoffman had shared since middle school and, with the help of many friends and a startup grant from Downtown Kalamazoo Inc.'s business incubator as well as business counseling from the Small Business Technology Development Center, the dream became a reality. Cakes Boutique was the first business accepted for the DKI grant program.

The concept for Cakes Boutique is to bring big city shopping to downtown Kalamazoo at affordable prices. Cakes offers "fresh and new fashion at its finest," bridging the gap between high-end fashion and everyday street style. The shop carries clothing as well as accessories and also provides style concierge, personal shopping and private shopping event services.

The store's unique name originated from a childhood nickname of Reinholt's, "Cakes" being short for "Patti Cakes." The name is not the only unusual thing about the store. Its many unique lines and personalized customer experience sets it apart from competitors.

WMU ties

Since opening in 2010, the store has developed a relationship with WMU's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences' textile and apparel studies program.

Before opening the store, Reinholt was the women's wear buyer for the Kalamazoo Country Club for six years. She is currently also the women's wear buyer for The Claymore Shop in Petoskey, Mich. She attended Michigan State University and studied fashion merchandising.

Terranella-Hoffman previously served as the business development director of the Borgess Research Institute. She attended WMU, where she earned a bachelor's in business administration in 2002 with a major in marketing and a minor in textile and apparel merchandising. She earned her master's in accountancy from Davenport University.

For more information, visit wmich.edu/business or contact the Haworth College of Business at (269) 387-6059.