During the summer of 2018, we saw innovation take root in Boston’s Seaport District with the arrival of The Current, a “pop-up” village of small shops on Northern Avenue that will rotate every six months. The Current’s first theme of shops is She-Village, which brings together nine women-owned businesses, each of which has its own small retail space.
“For us, being a Boston-based business, this has been an excellent opportunity for us to participate in our city,” said Jay Adams, co-founder and co-owner of Brass, a chic boutique catering to the modern woman. “It’s been a great chance for women to come in and experience the brand in person.”
Adams said that the store’s brand focuses on helping women simplify their wardrobes so that they can focus on the things that matter.
“Women experience a lot of frustration and anxiety when it comes to what they should be wearing, what is the appropriate dress code, [and] what can they wear that makes them feel comfortable and powerful,” she said. “We really are designing with our customers in mind.”
Brass bills itself as a guide shop, meaning that clients come in, try on different outfits, make a selection, and have the items mailed directly to them in their correct size.
Take a stroll down the sidewalk and you’ll come across Monica + Andy, a She-Village retail store catering to mothers and mothers-to-be. Sarah Kuhl, a manager with the store, is sure to welcome you with a warm smile and plenty of enthusiasm about the unique services of the baby boutique.
“We are big into experiences,” she said. “It’s not just about coming in, shopping, and leaving. We have classes and events for expecting moms and new moms, so it’s kind of [similar to] building a community. It really draws people in to associate with the brand more.”
Other than selling products, Monica + Andy offer music and story time classes and provide shared spaces where professionals such as lactation consultants can come in to offer workshops on breastfeeding. With six locations across the nation, the store has plans to open three more shops this October.
If you’re in need of some accessories, pop into The Giving Key, a Los Angeles-based shop that offers fashionable accessories along with a philanthropic mission. Items such as necklaces and bracelets are emblazoned with words such as “Hope” and “Believe.” The store encourages customers to purchase an item, use it for as long as they need it, and then pass it along to someone in need. The 10-year-old store makes it a point to hire and employ those transitioning out of homelessness to help provide them with greater economic opportunity.
“Being in the retail sphere, you don’t normally get to work for people who have a really great mission,” said Colleen Behuniak, the She-Village store manager who’s been with the company for three months.
But fashionable clothing and accessories aren’t all She-Village offers. Orly Khon is full of beautiful botanical bouquets.
“At Orly Khon floral we specialize in botanical styling,” said the company’s owner and namesake, Orly Khon. “Everything from fresh-cut floral designs for events and flower arrangements and plants for weekly corporate clients and artistic styling services, to plant styling for homes. We do a lot of customized arrangements designed to reflect our client’s personal spaces and personalities, as well as their likes and dislikes.”
Khon said that she deeply appreciated being brought into The Current’s premiere pop-up project and that it’s a wonderful opportunity to show support of female business owners. “Women have stepped out in the last decade so much, showcasing talent, great ambition, and helping communities become progressive in giant steps,” she said. “We are lucky to live in a part of the country where I personally have never felt obstacles in owning a business.”
Visit the She-Village in Boston’s Seaport District to support women-owned businesses.