Brie’s Lucky No. 18

Brie

Brie and her mother Nancy, on Brie’s wedding day!

When I moved to New Jersey from Manhattan 16 years ago, I was struck by the reality that I would have to shop in a mall to get most of my clothes. I do have a beautiful mall near my house and I have gotten used to this kind of shopping. But I seriously miss the boutique shops and the intimate style of shopping that I found in the city – I have missed it all these years. That is why I smiled when I met Brie Tammaro, who with her mother, Nancy, own an elegant shop, No. 18 Boutique, in my town of Summit. I knew I wanted to hear Brie’s story and what it means to be a boutique owner in a town where the mall is just 10-minutes away. Says Brie  …

I was always interested in fashion. I think fashion picks you. From the time I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a business woman in fashion. I used to set up shop in my house and invite my parents. I lived and died by fashion magazines and I couldn’t read them fast enough. Initially I wanted to be a fashion designer but after working several summers at Calypso St. Barth in the Hamptons with founder Christiane Celle (when it was a small boutique) I witness her business savvy firsthand and knew that I needed to incorporate the business perspective in whatever I did. I first attended Skidmore and got an undergraduate degree in business and management, then worked 4 years, and followed that by deciding to go back to graduate school and get my master’s degree in design at Parsons, the New School of Design …

I honed my expertise in the fashion industry for years working on the wholesale side of the business in Manhattan with Moschino, Blumarine and Catherine Malandrino. I earned my way with long hours and hard work. But eventually, I burned out and started to lose my sense of joy – which I thought could never happen. So I took a break  …

When I was ready to start again, I returned to an idea that my mom and I had about owning our own shop. My mom is my best friend and I knew that the time was now to give it a try (I had the contacts and the experience). My mom and I both returned to Summit and started to look for the right space in town. Eventually, we found a perfect spot that needed a lot of work but was just the right size. We opened No. 18 Boutique in November 2014, and have been growing since …

No. 18 Boutique specializes in American and European emerging designers:  Paul & Joe (Paris), By Malene Birger (Denmark), Brochu Walker (Los Angeles), Bounkit (New York), Nude (Italy), Isabel de Pedro (Barcelona), Nuovo Borgo (Florence), Jamin Puech (Paris), Les Petites Paris, Erin FetherstonSuzanna Dai, and Malandrino Black Label. My concept for the store is to offer something completely different from the mall, with unique pieces that you can’t find everywhere. Customers are craving that personal, one-on-one experience. We edit the selection for our clients and carry only 3 or 4 of one piece at a time …

My mom and I work well together. We both love the personal shopping and styling aspect of owning a boutique. My goals are to create my own collection – a private label under a brand, open another store, and continue helping clients with personal shopping. Clothes can be our armor, our protection. I want to help women feel good about their outer and inner selves. ”

I asked Brie if, since opening No. 18 Boutique, she is feeling inspired. She told me that is she is once again having fun with fashion. And with her mom. I meant to tell her that in the Jewish religion, the number 18 is a lucky and sacred number. She has named her boutique well – I see good things in her future!

 

 

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