If you’re ever visiting the North End, make Shake the Tree your first stop. It’s cozily nestled amongst restaurants and bakeries on the bustling Salem Street. Owner Marian Klausner, the lead shaker at the boutique, embarked on this endeavor in 1994. The boutique was then named Shake the Tree Gallery and located in Brookline. The former attorney turned boutique owner recollected how one day in Brookline she spotted a retail space available for rent and rented it that very day. With that gutsy move that began the inception of Shake the Tree Gallery. The rest is history.
Shake the Tree is stocked with an eclectic assortment of goodies, from home goods, to baby clothing and gifts. I immediately found myself fawning over all the pretty things in this boutique. As I browsed, I observed Marian as she warmly greeted everyone who entered the boutique. She even knew some by name. You can tell that this is a labor of love for her. Marian was kind enough to let me play dress up and answer some questions about Shake the Tree, your next new obsession. Chic Beat: How did you come up with the name Shake the Tree for your boutique?
MK: From a Peter Gabriel & Youssou N’Dour song about women owning their own destinies. Chic Beat: How long has Shake the Tree been open?
MK: Since 1994…10 years in Brookline as Shake the Tree Gallery, where I showed mostly local makers’ crafts. In 2004 I dropped the gallery part and opened in the North End. I carry a broader range of clothing and home goods. Chic Beat: The North End is known for its history, cuisine and summer festivals. Why did you decide to open up shop there?
MK: There were no other stores in the area and a ton of people who travelled the area. The greenway was new and it reconnected the neighborhood to downtown.
Chic Beat: You offer such a wide selection of items, from clothing to jewelry, home goods to bath and body products. What was the vision behind creating the concept for Shake the Tree?
MK: I wanted to fill it with things I love!Chic Beat: Do you work with local brands?
MK: Yes, local jewelery, candles chocolate, caramel, jams, cards and more.
Chic Beat: What distinguishes Shake the Tree from other boutiques?
MK: I carry a mix of clothing, jewelry, home goods, barware, apothecary, baby gifts, cards etc., where most boutiques are either focused on fashion or gifts.Chic Beat: What are some of your best-selling items at the moment?
MK: Clothing, cookbooks, and candles.
Chic Beat: Does that differ from what are some of your favorite items?
MK: Since I pick everything out, I pretty much love it all. While I was there, I also had an opportunity to try on some pieces. This plaid wrap is ultra comfortable and stylish. When I think of fall style, plaids are definitely in the mix.
Snaps from my Mini Photo Shoot