This Friday, Sassy Boutique is back in business. After months of taking online orders and operating by appointment-only, the small shop in the Crilley Warehouse at 218 N. Lee Street is taking it slow by reopening on weekends starting this Friday from 12-5 p.m.
“We’re learning and we’ve adjusted,” shop co-owner Abby Wolverton told ALXnow. “We started taking online sales by opening a Shopify storefront and we deliver anywhere for free in Alexandria.”
Wolverton owns the shop with Sarah Bryen, and the best friends discovered an unusual common bond. The pair met three years ago, shortly after Wolverton moved to Alexandria, at a bar where Bryen was working. While hanging out one night, they discovered they both had an on-and-off relationship with the same man.
“We instantly connected,” Bryen said. “I figured that if you meet a fun woman, just go with it. We all need to have more friends who are on our wavelength.”
Bryen, a D.C.-area native who also works in marketing full-time, found the 225-square-foot space in the Crilley Warehouse. She said that she and Wolverton will text each other incessantly throughout the day, and that the pair have had to get creative during the pandemic by selling custom face masks, selling more online and expanding the personal shopping portion of the business.
“We text 47 times a day, maybe more,” Bryen said. “We found out we’re really good at dressing other people, and that’s when we incorporated the personal shopping part of the business, because right now nobody can shop, but they still want to dress.”
Brands include Armani, Diane von Furstenberg, Lilly Pulitzer — often sold at reduced prices because the pair buy the clothing at resale.
“People come in, they tell us what they’re looking for, they leave a deposit and we find that product,” Wolverton said. “We have a long list of sources. We just look everywhere. We do have some new things that we get from consignment or boutiques in different areas, in D.C. and such. We want to give the shop a curated feel, and we really look for the individual piece that’s going to stand out.”
Wolverton, a Charlottesville native, was inspired to open the business after her Italian grandmother, Joyce Maietta, who owned an Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh.
“I wanted to be like her,” Wolverton said. “One of the big things in our culture, in our food, is love. I think that has made a big impact on who I am as a person, even with the name Sassy Boutique. It’s kind of like that hot-blooded Italian nature shining through.”
Our premium face masks are now available for online purchase!https://sassy-boutique-old-town.myshopify.com/products/stylish-face-masks
Courtesy photo by Giovanni Tario