One of my daughters’ favorite places to visit in Wellesley is a darling little store called K-Girl, owned by the lovely and stylish Estelle Colgan. Why do we love it so much?
Well, first and foremost, unlike almost any other tween-focused retail store I know of– K-Girl has the best, most well curated group of on-trend, fashionable, but NOT cheesy or inappropriate selection of clothing and accessories for young girls. Everything in there is cool, of-the-moment and appealing to both me and the girls. THAT is the real challenge. I don’t want them walking around bedazzled looking like Toddlers and Tiaras, and there are too many opportunities to stray in this day and age. You won’t find that here. Trust me…
But a major plus is the shopping experience itself. The vibe inside is so relaxed and welcoming– because of the people who work there, but also because of the visual atmosphere. Don’t discount the design impact inside of a store: it has a huge effect on the customer experience. I have never designed a retail space, but if I could, I would hope to do it like Estelle did.
Utilizing classic elements with funky touches and unusual finishes. Not loud but noticeable. Cool but understated. I asked Estelle how she designed the store. I was so curious about some of the elements I had never seen before. Where did she get that wallpaper? Surely I had missed it at the Boston Design Center. And the floor material, I could envision it in several residential spaces. Kids’ playrooms, basements, laundry and more…
I am sure certain elements inside were splurges, notice the whimsical pearly wallpaper and moreover the pink and orange damask one… Others made super creative use of ordinary materials: a great example is the floors. VCT tiles are coated with pearlized metallic coating create a super durable but subtly sparkly undertone. How did she do it? Well, for starters she used a professional, commercial designer Dusty Rhodes.
Together they flew to the International Trade Show for Store Design in Chicago with a mission to get the store outfitted. As Estelle recalled, the tangerine and pink damask wallpaper set the tone and the rest was history. Such is the way good design happens all around; you get inspired by a single element, and then things begin to take shape, and off you go. Estelle attended to the details–her light fixtures echo the whimsy, with custom made paper shades trimmed out in ribbon. The paper on the walls echoes the swirls in the chandeliers.
Not your run of the mill tween clothing store, a cozy, girly, almost lounge-like experience, complete with vinyl upholstered kidney shaped couches and spaces that encourage guests to linger and chat (and chat we definitely do!) If you have a chance and a reason, please visit the gals at Kenzie Kids and K-Girl and tell them how adorable the store is. Chances are you won’t walk out empty handed, but you will be happy you went.