Vanessa Woodhouse, who owns the Big Blue Whale on 19th Street, said that while her toy store was easy to name, the name for her new women’s clothing and gift boutique across the street was harder to come by.
“I wanted something sweet,” said Woodhouse of Mary & Moss. “I’m obsessed with Bruce Springsteen and Mary is a name that he uses a lot in his songs. We’re also going to have a floral component in the store so that’s where moss came from.”
The store will join Proper Shoes, a specialty sneaker chain based in California, at the site of the former Chippendale’s Antiques store, which was purchased by Braun Enterprises.
Woodhouse says that the current plan is for Mary & Moss to be 40 percent gifts, 30 percent clothes and 30 percent accessories. She’ll start looking for inventory next month.
Right now, Woodhouse travels for toy buying about three times a year. She anticipates doing the same for Mary & Moss.
“We want to carry classic clothing,” said Woodhouse. “Clothes that will last multiple seasons.”
In the spirit of shopkeeper camaraderie and for the sake of variety, it’s important to Woodhouse not to replicate the lines of other nearby stores like Emerson Rose and Jubilee. It’s a guideline she’s followed since her toy store’s opening in 2014 when Tulips & Tutus was open on Studewood Street.
Woodhouse says she prefers items that are made in the US and those that follow fair trade rules so that will be an emphasis too.
She said she considered the Heights Mercantile development at Yale Street and 7th for her new store but when the location became available literally out her window it was hard to pass up.
“I know what the traffic patterns are here,” Woodhouse said. “It was a safer bet. And the ease of being across the street is a bonus.”
Mary & Moss will be between Proper Shoes and a tobe named tenant who would fill the corner spot. Proper Shoes will be next to Shade restaurant. Woodhouse hopes to be open by the holidays of 2017.
“We are very excited to have Mary & Moss along with Proper Shoes in our development,” said Braun Enterprises’ Zach Wolf. “19th Street continues to be the main retail hub of the Heights and these tenants will only add to it.”
There is also a space in the back facing Rutland that Braun Enterprises is currently working to lease. Wolf says that they have several medical and retailers looking at that spot. Construction will begin in the next 60 to 90 days on what is being called a “light redevelopment” of the corner.