Saturday, January 3, 2009

a brand new bag & a brand new me

a new year, a new home -- in downtown jersey city -- but i needed some new stuff. can't remember the last time i bought anything new (thanks sis for the lovely hand me downs). my only pair of jeans looks threadbare and feels uncomfortable. lucky for me, i moved right around the corner from life, a hip, out of the ordinary boutique stocked with clothes and accessories from local jersey city designers, such as billykirk (whose bag/wallet collection is made by a group of amish leather workers in PA), as well as other collections by rag & bone, mike & chris, joe's jeans & more.
i walked into life, having read about the store in NEW guide/magazine, eager to find something to perk up my lame closet of clothes. life, set in a beautiful brownstone building at quaint 112 morris street in paulus hook, just steps from the light rail, doesn't overwhelm, instead you feel invited in, comfortable browsing and touching the materials. soon enough i met cliff, the owner of life, who chatted with me in a familiar, casual way (unlike the many city boutiques i've shopped at which have a tendency to either make you feel pressure to buy or too uncool), then he magically picked up a few items to show me after i said, help i need a wardrobe boost (but i want usa/locally made items). cliff carefully described each designer's style, and how that item could best solve my clothing ills. everything he presented (billykirk bag, mike & chris grey jacket, jeans, black pants, grey james perse shirt) completely matched my style & fit almost perfectly (life handles alterations). cliff's knack for finding exactly what i craved doesn't feel forced or sales-person-y. with an air of genuine friendliness and expertise with all the designers he carries in the store, he treats each and every customer personally, listening to what the shopper seeks, yet not pushing the purchase or leading one astray.

so now, comforted in my new jeans in the new neighborhood, i praise life, the urban boutique i couldn't seem to find in hoboken, nyc, san francisco or paris ... where i go to shop, browse, pick up the latest NEW guide or visit with cliff to talk about jersey city happenings.

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