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Shrewsbury, Massachusetts – We live in the age of the superstore, and with the upcoming black Friday that is more apparent than ever before. You can go into a box store, by an evening gown, a few pairs of socks, and some dog food, all while having your new tires put on. Those stores most definitely serve a purpose, and perhaps for some, owning such a business would be a dream come true. For Shrewsbury native Victoria Plotnick, owner of the thriving Niva Boutique, however, nothing could have been further from the dream. She set off instead to bring to the area a true “boutique,” setting, where personal service and attention to detail was far more important than having the same dress in thirty different colors. ”Getting to know your clientele,” Victoria said, “…is they key to starting and operating a successful brick and mortar business in a challenging economy.” At Niva, there are no customers, “only friends we haven’t yet gotten to know,” and that’s a motto that she brings to work with her each and every day.
I don’t recall ever writing here about clothes shopping, but this is something special. Spending time in the boutique is just so vastly different than a trip to the mall. Much of that begins with the selection of clothing, jewelry and accessories that she chooses to bring into the store to begin with. She’s looking for quality, above all else, as well as style, uniqueness, and affordability. The feel is light and airy, without the pressure to cram in a million different styles, instead focusing on the fact that the wardrobe you buy at Niva is not something you will see on every colleague at work the next day. Not worried about the high pressure of the sales industry, her team instead chooses to focus on your needs, dreams and desires. I stopped by for just a few minutes to take some photos, and had to patiently wait for almost a half hour while Victoria called some different clients personally, just to let them know that she’d just gotten in something special that she thought they would like, and was going to hold onto it until they had a chance to get back in. Now that’s a level of service that you just won’t see from the majority of the large stores, and what the true “boutique shopping experience” is supposed to be like.
For those who live in the Boston area, this is probably nothing new, and likely what they’re used to in their regular Newbury Street shopping trips. For us here in the Shrewsbury area, however, it’s one of the rarest commodities you can imagine, and very refreshing little island in the world of retail. I know so many people who’ve had the opportunity to stop by, usually while visiting a restaurant within the plaza, and once that happens, they instantly have become fans for life. If you have a chance, why not stop by in person, and you’ll immediately see just what I mean. Niva is located at 290 West Main Street, Northboro, in the same building as LalaJava, my favorite coffee place. Let me know what you think, and whether you came away with the same sense of warmth and quality that I’ve seen so many times before.