Why She Loves Dressing Delray Beach by Rigel Herman The Pineapple Staff Writer She has always loved fashion, clothing and a chic, no-nonsense woman. Palm Beach Native Sun owner, Kristina Saltzman, chose Delray Beach to bring her passions to life because she says, “Delray feels like a New England town to me; friendly, stylish and with a lot of character.” It’s with this sensibility that Saltzman has been dressing woman here for 13 years. Palm Beach Native Sun, located in the heart of Atlantic Avenue, is as well known for its contemporary woman’s clothing as it is for Saltzman herself. A Vermont native, she appears taller than she is, with long blonde hair and a reputation for dressing impeccably. If she is in the store, it’s obvious to a shopper that she’s the owner. Her presence and confidence in her clothing make it unmistakable to a customer that she chose every piece with careful consideration of her clientele, genuinely acknowledging the taste level of the Delray Beach woman. While Saltzman has been a retail business owner for over 20 years, she now works as a clothing representative for several lines as well. Among others, she represents Bailey 44, a brand that is carried at Native Sun. Being a “rep.” means that she is the sales liaison between the clothing company and the retailer.By adding this job to her roster, she is able to expand her personal clout in the fashion
industry and also gain a sense of what woman want and what is selling on a national scale. For Native Sun, this translates well, considering how many of her clients are Snow Birds and tourists or relocated city folk. “I love the interesting variety of people in Delray, everyone is from all over the place. Ican buy specific pieces that are a bit unusual and they are accepted and appreciated here, I think because of the diversity’,” Saltzman says.
As if her schedule wasn’t full already, Saltzman has also garnered the position of National Sales Director for designer Rolando Santana. A Mexican-American designer, Saltzman first discovered Santana by purchasing one of his dresses for herself. She was so impressed by his craftsmanship that she “continued to harass him for a year, until he finally gave me the job,” she says. Santana’s dresses have been worn by celebrities and fashionistas alike, including “Real Housewives of New York” star Alex Mccord. Through her position, Saltzman is helping Santana brand both his couture collection and his less expensive contemporary line. “His vision and workmanship are very fresh. He’s classic and innovative and really appeals to the modern woman,” says Saltzman. A selection of Rolando Santana’s dresses are available at Native Sun, of course. Though she’s always wearing at least 3- inch heels and an ensemble plucked straight from a collection, Saltzman is also a self-proclaimed “hippie” at heart and uses her store as a platform for many charitable endeavors. With a partner, she started a woman’s cooperative in Guatemala to help promote fair trade and initiate female owned businesses. “La roses de Concepcion” is a group of women from Concepcion, Guatemala that hand make stunning pieces of beaded jewelry and hand- bags, several of which Saltzman designs with them in their village. She then sells the pieces in Native Sun and to other retailers and returns the profits directly to them.
An avid dog-lover, Saltzman also uses Native Sun to help homeless animals find families. This past November, she hosted an event with local rescue organization, A Second Chance Puppy and Kitten Rescue, and filled her store window with puppies available for adoption. Saltzman and her husband are the parents of two rescue dogs, Forrest and Soliel. When she’s not showcasing Native Sun’s latest cashmere installation, she can be spotted showing off snapshots of her two “dog-children” to customers and friends. Native Sun is, of course, extremely K-9 friendly like much of Delray, another reason why Saltzman’s store is so successful. Palm Beach Native Sun is undoubtedly Saltzman’s love child. It is clear from the reactions of her clients that she spends hours scrutinizing clothing to find pieces that she thinks are truly interesting and pleasing to them. And while she is a hard-working heavy- hitter in the fashion industry with her hands in so many different facets, she lives here fulltime, proving that Delray Beach is her home, not just where her store lives.