Editor’s note: It’s my opinion that behind every good shop is a good shopkeeper. Boston’s Top Shops is a look at the city’s best stores, and the ladies (and occasional gents), behind them.
There’s a reason Crush Boutique feels like a shopping fantasy land. The stores (there are two: a flagship location in Beacon Hill and a Newbury St. store which opened earlier this year) are a dream-come-true for owners Laura Macris and Rebecca Penner, best friends from Connecticut who spent their teenage years dreaming of careers in fashion. When you walk into Crush, you can tell that it’s run by women who both know what they’re doing, and love it.
Here’s what one-half of the dream team (Laura) had to say about the success of their business, creating the perfect arm party and why she can’t wait to wear white after Labor Day.
TSG: What prompted you to open Crush?
LM: I had a love for fashion and styling. It is so rewarding to work with people every day and make them feel great about themselves. My business partner, Rebecca, and I grew up together and knew from an early age that we someday wanted to take this path. I am still so blown away that our dream has become a reality and that we own two successful boutiques in Boston. I am also always so amazed by how fashion is impacted by the social and cultural climate and vice versa. It is so fun to watch the new trends that come out each season.
What designers does the store carry?
We carry a large variety of labels from New York, Los Angeles, Australia and Italy. These include, but are not limited to, Parker, Alice + Olivia, Shoshanna, Yumi Kim, Madison Marcus, J Brand, Joe’s Jeans, Brandy Melville, Ladakh, Frye, Patterson J Kincaid, Daftbird, Rory Beca, Karina Grimaldi, Alice & Trixie, Urban Expressions Handbags, WILL Handbags. A number of our designers are carried at both Crush locations while a number are also exclusive to each location.
What budgets does Crush cater to?
We work to carry a mixed price point at Crush. Blouses can range anywhere from $50-$250. Dresses range from $70-$500. Our handbag selection ranges from Urban Expressions clutches starting at $42 to Romygold handbags that are in the $300-$450 range.
Are there certain items you can’t keep in stock?
Ada leather wrap belts. They are the perfect accompaniment to most any outfit and are available in a variety of colors.
What’s the deal for fall? What will everyone be wearing?
There is a huge variety in trends that we will carry, but I have a few favorites.
1. Leather Detail. We saw tons of leather for fall from full leather coats and pants to leather detailing on garments. This rocker chic element was seen from leather trimming on the lapel of a coat, to leather trim on a blouse, to leather elbow patches on sweaters.
2. Peplum. Peplum cuts will be seen a ton in shirts, dresses and coats. This sophisticated cut is a favorite of mine, as it accentuates your natural waistline which tends to be extremely flattering.
3. Fur. Fur coats, vests and bomber jackets were everywhere we turned at fall market. We will be getting in tons of fur layering pieces – faux and real!
What are you personally most excited to wear for fall?
White denim. I know the age old rule is no white pre-Memorial Day or post-Labor Day but so many of those age old rules are being thrown out the window. Think winter white. I’m excited to pair mine with brown boots and chunky sweaters.
Describe your style.
Brooklyn meets the Upper East Side. I love to take a fashion-forward, rocker chic style and give it a classic twist.
Do you have a “go-to” outfit?
An oversized top with something slim on the bottom. I have a love for flowy tops and sweaters that I often layer over a fitted camisole with leggings, colored skinnies, a fitted skirt, etc. This fall, I plan to invest in faux leather leggings to pair with all the billowy tops in my wardrobe. For me, heels always make my look feel more complete so I often throw on heeled boots in fall/winter or wedges in spring/summer with my outfit.
What about a favorite accessory?
Right now, I’m obsessed with my “arm party.” I love stacking leather wrap bracelets with jewel encrusted ones to complete my look every day. I vary which bracelets I wear slightly based on my outfit/overall look.
The best restaurant in Boston is:
Island Creek Oyster is my absolute favorite. Oysters and champagne are my favorite combination. Pair that with a seafood dish and I’m happy as a clam–no pun intended.
The style of Boston women, summed up in two-words:
Classic and chic.
Crush Boutique, 131 Charles Street, (617) 720-0010 and 264 Newbury Street, (617) 424-0010 , www.shopcrushboutique.com