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Modesto boutique is going online

Queen Mab's is closing, long live the Queen.

Owner Elizabeth Zapien-Plata said the time was right to stop the 6-year-old store in downtown Modesto, which features handmade clothing and crafts.

"There are not enough hours in the day to run a store, run a youth group and have a husband and family," she said.

But, she said, the store's designs will live on online with a new reconstructed clothing line she is launching with her son, Edward. Gaudy Couture will feature new clothing and jewelry made from recycled materials. Zapien-Plata also is opening a design studio close to downtown.

For the past two years, Zapien-Plata and her husband also have run The PLACE (People Learning Acceptance Creating Equality) for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

The new design studio will launch in January.

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Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Waste not, want not at New & Again Consignment Furniture Gallery.

The new and "gently used" consignment home furnishings store opened last week in the site of the old Johnson Rug Co. on McHenry Avenue.

The store is the second location for owner Bruce Beck, who opened the original New & Again in Lodi three years ago. It sells a full selection of furnishings from sofas to office furniture, antiques and bedroom sets.

He decided to expand into Modesto because of its similarities to Lodi and market demand.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Find New & Again Consignment Furniture Gallery at 214 McHenry Avenue or call 577-2200.

Find something special for you or your furry best friend at the new Unique Boutiques and newly moved Poochie Couture Dog Boutique.

The stores share a space at 1016 McHenry Ave. Owner Lisa Beers started Poochie Couture Dog Boutique a year ago in a space farther north on McHenry. She moved to the new location to expand and open the adjoining shop for humans.

Opened in October, both stores sell handmade and custom items. The doggie duds include collars, leashes, clothing, beds, dishes, bags and all-natural organic treats.

Unique Boutiques, meanwhile, sells mostly handmade, all-local hand soaps, candles, scarves, jewelry, crafts and children's clothing. She displays local artwork.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, see or or call 523-3000.

And finally, the original Hope Chest Thrift Store at 3848 McHenry Ave. in the Wal-Mart shopping center will remain open.

Community Hospice, which runs the Hope Chest thrift stores, planned to close the store at the end of the year. In August it opened a new, larger location up the road at 4143 McHenry Ave.

But the Wal-Mart center location was doing so well it will stay open at least through the summer.

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Have an item for Business Beat? Contact Marijke Rowland at The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; 578-2284 or