For those of you who appreciate retro style clothing, a Brattleboro boutique that opened last July is just up your ally. El Sol Boutique, owned by David and El Solin is down an ally actually, on Arch Street, located at the base of Main Street hill with an entry that is slightly reminiscent of the descent into the Cheers bar of the popular old TV show, consistent with the store's feel of the past. The window front, however, faces Main Street, teasing the window shopper with the treasures that may be found inside, including ‘60s-ish style skirts and dresses or whimsical crocheted hats handmade by El.
Once inside the choices are decidedly vintage or vintage styles. David and El said that new and used vintage is their specialty, purchasing most of their finds from estate sales or auctions, always with an eye for bright colors and a fashion slant predominantly from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Whether an item in their boutique is truly from that era or a replica, everything is in perfect condition, scrutinized carefully by the Solins before it ever makes it to the rack.
Another specialty is El's crocheted hats designed to be both fun and warm! El spent four hours studying a tutorial on youtube until she got it down, and now she creates them with ease, the various designs resembling Viking hats with a fuzzy twist.
[SLIDESHOW: Take a closer look inside El Sol Boutique, here.]
David is not a newcomer to Brattleboro, having lived here over 15 years ago, and while he loves the town, he took on an adventure and moved to Thailand for a farming opportunity there, where he met his wife, now of 10 years, El. With the arrival of their two young daughters they decided to come back to Brattleboro and open a retail store where he found the reception from the town to be wonderful. David's thinking was that he would be able to spend more time with his family. He admits it doesn't always work that way, often putting long hours at the store, 7 days a week, but he loves the work and loves that he is part of the community of Brattleboro shop keepers, proud that their boutique gives another reason for people to make downtown Brattleboro their shopping destination for what he describes as a classic hip American experience. He feels their boutique fits right in with that experience. He is a strong believer in shopping local, as he himself frequents many area shops with a preference for the non-profit businesses that give back to the community.
David said that at the moment they offer predominantly women's clothing, with a smattering of men's clothing, but plan to begin offering children's clothing soon. Their long-term plans are to expand into used furniture and antiques to incorporate another one of his passions: refinishing furniture. In the meantime, they make the best of the space they have with every nook and cranny housing a new and different discovery. From handbags to cowboy boots straight out of David's hand-selected collection, to T-shirts, there is something for everybody. There are also three roomy dressing rooms for the convenience of their customers to try on their newly-found bargains.
The Solins are presently busy transitioning their inventory into fall fashions, but they say they are never too busy to get to know their customers and encourage folks to stop on in to take a closer look and browse among the hangers or just say hello.