In the crazy world of Fasion, FALL season starts in June. Yes, June.
Just as the summer sun is dazzling, the air is thick with humidity and I’m drinking chilled Rosé, our autumn deliveries of cozy knit sweaters, heavy weight coats, bell sleeve tops and long pants start arriving. We unpack the boxes and stack everything in the back, not daring to bring most of it out till late August!
In July, however we stock “Transition” – beautiful clothing that you can wear now but will carry into fall…sleeveless dresses, light weight or off the shoulder tops in neutrals, blacks or autumn tones!
Big thanks to Ashley and Maddie, Shake staffers for modeling and to Shaker Deanna for being our resident photographer❤️
Also, a big shout out to our Salem Street neighbor, Salmagundi, the best Hat Shop in Boston! We love collaborating with them for photo shoots – this is Emily, one of the chief hatters…
Just a BIG THANK YOU to all of our wonderful customers, my amazing staff, and my incredibe family who have supported me for the last 23 years!
Opened in the late Spring of 1994, we have started out as an etsy-like handmade craft gallery in Brookline Village and then moved into the North End in 2004, just as the Greenway was rolling out. We dropped the “gallery” concept and evolved into our current aesthetic and mix of clothing, jewelry, home goods, apothecary, small-batch edible treats, baby gifts, and global cookbooks!
I moved the shop three times, re-designed the shop displays a gazillion times, made a ton of neighborhood friends, watched my dedicated staff grow from college students to 30-something professionals and parents, witnessed ever-changing style trends and survived the ups and downs of a volatile economy. Yes, it’s been a long haul and I am so grateful for the kick-ass moment I had in ’94 to jump head first into owning this business!
It’s really and truly SPRING! We are so happy to be putting out all of our beautiful spring collections, which have been hiding in our back room, waiting for winter to thaw and delicate blossoms to start peeping through the soil! We are loving denim, off the shoulders, bold florals, ruffles and rompers! here are a few of our favorites!
Confession – I wear mostly solid black, all day, every day. However, summer comes rolling in, my winter mood mood brightens and my eye lovingly gazes at bright florals, soft pastel paisleys and multi-colored pom poms. The store transitions from neutral palettes to a festival of summer brights and patterns!
A year ago, we traveled through northern India and I was struck by the neon bright embellished saris, head scarves and sparkly gold jewelry that women wore. Interestingly, jewelry became a common language and an easy way to begin to cross cultural barriers. I always wear long dangly earrings and thin gold necklaces and upon arriving in small rural desert towns (that few Americans visit and no English is spoken), I often found myself surrounded by crowds of women and children, reaching out and touching my jewelry. I loved their intricate textured earrings, rows of delicate bangles and colorful scarves and I would reach back, smiling and nodding, in that universal connection that women can make.
So, a little inspiration kicks in and Shake now has a summer stock full of beautifully pattererned dress, tops and scarves and jewelry with tassels and beads! Here are just a few faves,
Yes it’s freezing and snowing outside but our beloved bloggers take one for the team! Hats off to Katie Salerno(📷) and Kate (Prep of Boston) for modeling new pieces from Splendid and Misa Los Angeles! Piping hot chocolate is well deserved💕
This fall, fashion has given a happy nod to velvet and a bit of glam! We are excited to see these luxe velvets and slight shimmery textured fabrics on runways and in the shop! Off the shoulder and “cold” shoulder tops still dominate and we are finding more women experimenting and loving the look! Two favorites include Misa LA’s black velvet and Ella Moss’ pale pink top.
We recently started collaborating with a local photographer, Katie Salerno, who has been doing many of our fashion and styled shoots with local bloggers. Katie recently left a corporate job to follow her passion and build her own solo photography business, focusing on family, wedding, and bridal portraits, as well as fashion shoots. Starting your business takes a leap of faith and a certain deep knowledge that you are kick ass enough to pull it off.
I am frequently asked how I started Shake, 22 years ago. I had been practicing law, doing civil litigation for three years and then running a women’s criminal justice project for five. On the side, I was painting furniture and small home decor with a friend, selling our work in local shops and through makers markets. I had always been drawn to art and creativity, having studied a bit at the museum school in Boston. When the project I was running ran out of funding, I hit a roadblock. I didn’t want to go back to doing litigation, hating the adversarial nature of it, yet I felt compelled to stay in a field that I had chosen and studied for. I found myself applying for jobs that I did not want and the turning point for me was getting a lucrative job offer and declining because I couldn’t imagine myself continuing in this field.
So, on a random weekday morning, having coffee with a friend, I watched a landlord put a “for rent” sign up in a small shop in Brookline and I literally walked across the street and rented it for year . I had been secretly imagining opening up a shop, but I had never worked in retail and really knew nothing about it. However, in that exact moment I let go of all my fears and just jumped into it headfirst, eyes open. I am usually not impulsive and I am very risk-aversive with money but honestly I had no doubt that this would work. I called everyone I knew who made cool things and asked if they would give me things on consignment, paying them only when the items sold. I gathered friends and we built shelving, painted and fixed up the place so I was open in about a month. Since that date in June 1994, I’ve had to move twice and now have a beautiful shop in Boston’s North end, having run a successful business for over two decades all by myself!
If anyone reading this is wondering if they can do it, take a leap of faith and know that you can.
Finally, mid-October, it feels like true Autumn! As much as we all have loved this crazy extended summer with temps in the 80s, I am so glad to feel the crisp morning air, see the glorious gold and orange leaves, go apple picking, carve pumpkins, eat cider donuts and do all things fall! We have had all of our snuggly cozy knit pullovers, long cardigans, wraps, scarves and coats, hiding the back room and yesterday we finally brought it out. I especially love this patterned light weight coat by Sanctuary ( worn by blogger Rachel Thomas) and this long cardigan by Elan (worn by Katie Salerno, who is our house photographer extraordinaire)
We have a serious crush on the gorgeous back line of this En Creme dress, modeled by Texas blogger Jasmine of 1 Fine Cookie! As the summer heat transitions to autumn’s cooler temps, this dress is perfect for layering with a crop denim jacket and leather boots!
Special thanks to Nishat Nguyen for modeling our new top from our recently discovered French collection, Des Petits Hauts! On a recent trip to Paris we wandered into one of their small shops in Montmartre and fell in love. We were so delighted to get our first shipment this week!
Designer Yumi Kim is one of our best-selling designers! With her bright, floral and feminine aesthetic, she creates the perfect dresses, tops and rompers that become go-to outfits for date nights, weddings and special occasions! Special thanks to Boston bloggers Jess of Champagne Thursday and Chelsea of Chow Down USA for modeling!