I decided to observe a local boutique in my suburban town of Floral Park located in Nassau County on Long Island. My neighborhood is predominantly made up of families of Irish or Italian descent. It is comprised of upper middle class families. K. Hunter Boutique is a quaint and fashionable boutique located on 59 Covert Avenue. They sell many clothing items such as tops, sweaters, jackets, jeans, skirts, dresses. As well as accessories ranging from hats and scarves to jewelry and hand bags.
Many people prefer shopping at local boutiques
rather than department stores because people
ironically long for a sense of
individuality while trying to conform and fit in.
Boutique clothing is not mass produced but it is
“fashionable”, so most people will not have the same
exact shirt as you but it may be a similar style. This
particular store does a good job in advertising and
marketing. Their Instagram page is promoted in store,
and on their website and they post new pictures of different looks
regularly. One girl who regularly models for this is actually a senior at
my old high school. This is a clever marketing technique because this girl
will tell her friends and family about how she shoots with the store, which
ultimately gains more customers for the boutique. Since they are a small
business they don’t market by being in magazines of having commercials,
but by word of mouth.
The store is not very large and includes trendy apartment details like clever wooden sayings and mugs. The demographic is aimed towards females aged from 15-25. However, while observing, I noticed many mothers liked to shop around. Priced slightly high, I would say it was somewhere between Forever 21 and Express. The store is decorated according to seasons and holidays, with a beautiful autumnal scene set in the front window. Along with the visual design of the store they receive new merchandise every week which encourages shoppers to buy now, because “what if I regret buying it and I come back and its gone?!”. This constant rotation of style and merchandise allows them to keep up with the fast-paced fads in todays fashion society.
On their website (http://www.khunterboutique.com/) if you click on their “About Us” section you can read the following…
“Welcome to k. hunter boutique!
Here at k. hunter boutique we specialize in handpicking our merchandise based on not only style, but comfort. Because we are a boutique we carry only a few sizes of each style and are constantly adding new arrivals making each look uniquely yours. We believe that while it is a top priority to look amazing, you should feel amazing as well. Our hand picked merchandise can be dressed up or dressed down based on your occasion. Whether you want to look fabulous for a night out, or feel comfortable for a more relaxed event, k. hunter has the perfect outfit and accessories for you!”
This shows how the store prides its self on making its customers the ultimate “it-girl” with the latest styles, fashions, and accessories. However one could argue that the whole concept and goal of the store is very trivial in the sense that it is fad fashion that is breeding the “popular girl”. As they say in their “About Us” they carry only a few sizes. While looking through the store I noticed they don’t carry many sizes for larger women. Also their Instagram doesn’t feature any models or staff of color or other racial background other then Caucasian. On the surface it may seems like just another sweet hole-in-the wall boutique but once I analyzed further into the store I discovered that its just another Forever 21 disguised as a store that sparks individuality which it actually doesn’t. Because their merchandise isn’t mass produced it allows them to claim a false sense of individuality, which is probably what the typical Long Island girl is looking for.
Growing up on the island was quite an experience for me. Living in a town where everyone else looked and was brought up the same was a challenge for me. At a young age i hated my heritage and culture because kids at school made fun of it. It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I learned to love my cultural differences and heritage rather then be ashamed of it. I became more aware of my surroundings and stopped trying to fit in. The typical Long Island girl wears riding boots, leggings, a flannel shirt and a vest on a cold Autumn day. I didn’t realize how much this massive culture of conformity made me cringe until I was old enough to understand and educate myself on worldwide fashion. Living in a small town on Long Island is like being trapped in a bubble where anything (food, dress, behavior, physical appearance) out of the norm is frowned upon. But once I started reading and experiencing the rest of the world and their view of fashion and how true individuality was celebrated I wanted to leave Long Island. It is a great place to live but not a great place to grow and discover ones self.
K. Hunter Boutique is a quaint and fashionable boutique located on 59 Covert Avenue. It is the pinnacle of Long Island fashion and feeds into social conformity and while it does sell some nice pieces, its just another store for Long Island teens to buy clothes that will give them little sense of individuality.