Beyond Beacon Hill: Moxie to open boutique in Wellesley

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Moxie, a popular Beacon Hill boutique that sells women’s “fabulous yet functional” shoes as well as bags and accessories, is branching out with a new store in Wellesley at the old Camera Place space at 24 Church St.

Karen Fadden Fabbri opened the original Moxie in 2001, and before doing so had been in high tech PR. We tossed a few questions her way:

When’s the store opening? We are hoping to do a soft-launch the last week of March/first week of April (all depends on build-out timing now). Grand Opening late April.

How will the look of 24 Church St. change? We are totally redoing this naturally beautiful space. Keeping the amazing tin ceiling and utilizing the incredible natural light. Putting in all new walls, new hardwood floors, built-in fixtures. It will have a light and airy effect, done predominantly in creams/beiges with pops of Moxie purple in select places. The Wellesley store will be sophisticated, yet welcoming.

For those not familiar with your Beacon Hill store, what’s unique about Moxie and what will be unique about the Wellesley store? You don’t have to know much about shoes, bags, etc., to enjoy the aesthetic of the store(s). This is a store with carefully selected merchandise that is feminine, flirty and wearable with the way busy women live (shoes for work, play, charity events, etc). Our merchandise mix certainly is unique in terms of who we carry, how we carry them and how we mix it all together. I like to say we offer everything in a woman’s closet but the clothes. Brands that we will be bringing to Wellesley include: Tory Burch, Cynthia Vincent, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Delman, Rafe, Foley & Corinna and more.

More than anything what makes us unique is that we are a friendly, welcoming place to visit.

The Wellesley store will have about 80% merchandise overlap with the Beacon Hill shop. The way the merchandise is displayed, however, will be different. Due to the bigger space and having the time to plan it all out, the Wellesley shop will be easier to shop. The merchandise will be easier to see.

Got any Wellesley connections? I have been looking at spaces for over 2 years now, in a variety of neighborhoods in and around Boston. Wellesley was an early favorite for a variety of reasons. I do actually have family who live in town (my husband’s cousins) and they have raved about the town for many years (trying to get us to raise our own family there many times). And in my former life I actually had a lead role in a Wellesley Players production of All My Sons. So I already liked what I knew of the town.

But more than anything I wanted an area that was similar to Beacon Hill – where discerning customers live, work and play; where store owners and managers know their clients (and their kids, and their dogs…). Wellesley fits that bill and more. Many of my early customers who were young professionals in Boston got married, had kids and moved to Wellesley. These women have been asking us to move out to Wellesley for years (to save them having to drive back into Boston to see us).

Daring time to open a store. How’s business? I know, right? This is getting to be a habit with me. I opened the first Moxie the month after September 11th. I guess I like a challenge. But seriously, I started plans on Moxie Wellesley long before the stock market crashed. After being in business for seven years it was the right time to expand. And in spite of the economic challenges it is still a very sound, very strong business. In 2008 we saw our best sales ever!

Obligatory Moxie soft drink question: Do you drink it? I actually can’t stand it! But what an impact it made on our vernacular! I’m sure you know it means: energy, pep, courage, determination, know-how! All things we certainly embrace around here (even when the stock market tanks, the snow won’t stop and the cold keeps coming). I’m an optimist, what can I say?