Neighborhood Boutiques Set Their Stage with Song


When you walk into your neighborhood boutique do you ever pay attention to the music that’s being played?

I do and I also take cues from their playlists for my own personal creations. Fashion and music pretty much go hand in hand and shopgirls? Well, they’re some of the hippest chicks going.

So get your ipods ready to be loaded. We’ll dedicate this potential playlist to all the  Shopgirls who’ve ever sold an organic cotton tunic or recycled handbag.

I asked them what they were playing and if they thought music was important to their shop’s ambiance. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

Kate Morison of Arboretum

“It is very important to us to have the proper vibe at Arboretum – one that makes people feel relaxed, happy, and willing to spend time and money in our space. We have experimented a lot and tracked people’s reactions to various bands, genres, etc. Our most successful shopping smash hits get compiled into iTunes playlists. My favorite is called “Store Sanctioned” and it’s got songs by the New Pornographers, Beruit, Andrew Bird, Electrelane, Dntel, The Knife, The Shins, The Brunettes, and more. We also rely a lot on Pandora, we created a station based on our love of Stereolab and Bacelorette which always fills the fitting rooms. Retail without music is just awkward, especially when the sound is out, the customer can sense some intangible absence. Besides, we need the music to motivate us to stay sunny and smiling at customers all day. Music is our Prozac.”

Kate McGregor of Kaight

“We play lots of different music at Kaight. Lately we’ve been playing a lot of Go Gos & George Michael, as well as Serge Gainsbourg (I’m a little obsessed). Typically, though, we keep it mellow with The XX, lots of Beatles, Superspirit, Radiohead, Lykke Li, Nouvelle Vague. Music that puts people in a calm, relaxed mood and makes them feel comfortable.”

Jennifer Miller of Mission Savvy

“I want Mission Savvy to be an experience into a world that is like no other (around these parts at least) so I pick Indie music that has a chill vibe. Like Ben Harper, Rusted Root, Discpatch, Eric Hutchinson, Barefoot Truth and a whole mix of singer songwriter girls. Very very happy stuff that makes you feel at peace. I want my customers to come back because they like being inside Mission Savvy – atmosphere and mood are keep to the end result – making sales!”

Donna Oakes of Cow Jones Industrials

“If I play CDs, it’s often Annie Lennox, Pretenders, Beatles, Sting, Herbie Hancock, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell. Mostly music that I like hearing but isn’t something that a potential customer might have a “Yuck” reaction to. I love listening to Tom Waits but get weird looks from some.”

Wendi Goad of Clary Sage

“The music we listen to at the store is an eclectic mix of classic rock, indie rock, folk, and female artists across all genres.
We love Adele, Alexi Murdoch, Beastie Boys, Citizen Cope, Estelle, The Fugees, Kings of Leon, Madonna, Lykke Li, Priscilla Ahn, The Supremes, and Wilco.”

“When we put together a playlist we are looking to create a welcoming feel for our clients. We want our music to be upbeat, but calm and collected. We also look to music to help us create energy in our store for our sales staff, and clients alike. As a yoga lifestyle brand we want to help our clients feel energized, but not overstimulated, and we rely on our music selection to help create that atmosphere.”

Image: Nati

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.