For over 20+ years, Leaf Shea has run her boutique and namesake, Leaf, a premier women’s apparel boutique in Brookline. Leaf offers a vast assortment of curated new and vintage jewelry and modern bohemian-chic garb for the free-spirited woman. Over the years I had walked by the boutique numerous times without ever entering; however I was always intrigued by the attractive window displays and trinkets I could spy from the window. Last spring I attended a blogger event at Leaf. I was welcomed with inviting boho vibes when I entered. Immediately, my eyes danced at the sight of the dazzling collection of jewelry (my faves are the vintage pieces) and all the pretty prints and colors of the wares that really warmed up the space. I wish I had dared to frequent the boutique a lot sooner. To think of all the unique and lovely items that I missed out on is a shame (SMH).
To my delight, Shea was keen on chatting with me about the transformation of her boutique over the years, fall fashion trends and exciting upcoming events at Leaf.
Chic Beat: Was it an obvious choice for you to become a boutique owner, since your mother opened her own boutique?
LS: I grew up helping my mom in her shop on Martha’s Vineyard called Vintage Jewelry. I loved the business but had always wanted to make documentaries. I decided to go to school for film. After graduating from UMass I moved to Los Angeles and worked for Gary Ross at Universal Pictures. After a couple of years I realized that it wasn’t right for me so I moved back to Massachusetts and opened a sister store to my mom’s called Vintage.
Chic Beat: How has Leaf boutique evolved over the past 20 years and what do you attribute to the boutique’s longevity?
LS: When the recession hit I realized that I needed to start thinking about what people really needed. Jewelry is a luxury but clothing is a necessity! It was then that I started carrying clothing. Over the years I have curated a large selection of clothing for all ages! I ended up changing the name of the store to my own, Leaf. People were confused by the word Vintage and many assumed it meant I was a consignment shop. Since the re-brand clothing sales have soared! Our jewelry selection is still amazing but much more affordable. We also carry awesome handbags, candles and other gift items. Flexibility and really knowing what your customers wants is imperative to success!
Chic Beat: What do you enjoy most about owning your own boutique?
LS: Owning my own boutique has given me the flexibility to raise a family and be able to work at the store and at home. I have an amazing staff that the customers love! It’s a friendly, warm and inviting place that I always love to go to, even after 21 years!
Chic Beat: What are some fall must-have items you carry in the boutique?
LS: Fall must haves this season are chokers, faux suede anything, bomber jackets, bell bottoms, fun printed leggings and booties! Mix and match prints are super fun too!
Chic Beat: Is there a trend right now that you personally like?
LS: I grew up in a very creative and artistic environment on the Vineyard. I’ve always been a bit boho so the last few years in fashion have been right up my alley!
Chic Beat: How did you come about offering vintage jewelry? Where do you find your vintage pieces?
LS: I carried vintage and new jewelry from all over the world. My mother and I traveled to England and India several times together to find the most beautiful and one of a kind pieces!
Chic Beat: Are there any upcoming promotions or anything new at Leaf that you want to share with readers?
LS: This time of year we start having a girl’s night one Thursday a month. We offer special promotions and serve wine, cheese and crackers. We send out emails and post it on all our social media. We will be having a party in November to celebrate our anniversary! Date TBA!
If you haven’t already, stop by Leaf to check out the amazing merchandise. This boutique is sure to be your newest obsession. Oh and don’t forget to follow the boutique on social media to learn of upcoming events and incoming stock.