Friends for years, Kim Capece and Clara Nunziato decided to collaborate efforts and their passion for fashion and open a boutique and fine consignment shop with a hometown feel that would allow others to get great deals. Augusta Mae, named affectionately after their beloved grandmothers, Augusta and Mae, brings the type of shopping experience that couples affordable, name brand items and one of a kind finds.
After searching several available storefronts in Cranford they came upon 35 Alden Street. Clara and Kim have found their “home” away from home. The boutique occupies the first floor of a single dwelling home, one of the last in the immediate downtown area. According to the owners, the charm and character of the store creates a shopping experience that is hard to find elsewhere.
Immediately you notice the fireplace when you enter, along with crown moldings and archways. A staff of young, enthusiastic and fashion forward students, all from Cranford work at the boutique as well. One of the nicest compliments they recently received was from a customer who felt as if she was shopping in a glorious “walk in closet.”
The store opened their doors in April, and in just a short time a philosophy was embraced where people who have items they no longer want consign them so they can be reused, revitalized and repurposed by someone else, the owners explained.
“It didn’t take long for us to develop a relationship with most of our customers and as items come through the door, we are able to identify which customer would love which bargain. In a way, it’s like personal shopping. It’s not unusual to find us personally communicating with our customers to let them know of the newest items we have received. Customers are quickly catching on that it’s hip to recycle fashion and home décor,” Kim and Clara agreed.
The owners say they are proud to be among a group of new business owners in Cranford, many of whom are residents themselves. Eager to be active in their hometown and to be part of the continued positive change in the downtown area they meet with other owners on a regular basis to actively seek ways to continue to work on ideas that will “cross promote” businesses to better enhance and enrich the shopping experience in Cranford.
"Resale is the new upscale. Rather than letting items go unused, consign them at the boutique. It will allow you an opportunity to earn some extra income while others will have the opportunity to furnish their home or wear an item of clothing that they might not otherwise have been able to afford," the owners said.
The boutique also showcases an array of vintage handbags, candles, jewelry, lotion, handcrafted beaded bracelets from Nepal and accessories.
“We want our consigners to feel that Augusta Mae boutique is their shop as well. Our hope is for women and young adults in the community to embrace it as a destination for shopping and fun," Clara and Kim said.
The shop can be found online at www.AugustaMae.com, and on Facebook and twitter @augustamae1 for information and updates.