The charm of local boutiques is that each shop tells a story and is curated in a unique way. Meet Alyson Garland of DotDotDash Boutique, hear her story, and peek into the life of this fashionably local boutique owner.
ALYSON GARLAND: DOTDOTDASH BOUTIQUE
OWNER SINCE: May 2008
What made you decide to open your shop?
I’ve always loved and understood the retail business and was a merchandiser for a family shoe company. Prior to opening my shop, I started designing soft, comfortable, children’s wear that had French and Spanish phrases on them with corresponding pictures so children could learn phrases in those languages. I started selling them through trunk shows to test market the idea.
I have three boys, currently ages nine to nineteen. When my youngest entered Kindergarten, I rented a tiny space near my neighborhood in De Mun and filled it with soft, comfortable, casual pieces that I found at market in New York. We carried about five simple styles of sweatpants, comfortable T-shirts and wraps for women in several colors along with my line for kids. The name DotDotDash came about as a collaboration with a graphic designer that I was working with. We threw some names around and that one stuck. It turned out to be serendipitous because I later found out that it spells the letter “U” in Morse code. When you walk into my shop, I want it to be all about YOU. Over the years it’s evolved into more of a women’s clothing store. Two years ago we moved just around the corner from our original store into our larger space right off of De Mun Avenue.
Oldest pieces of clothing that you still own:
I still have a few wraps and sweatpants from lines that I carried at the original store. People always ask me to start carrying them again because they were such great sellers.
Favorite items in the store:
The Roberta Roller Rabbit line is perfect for summer (as seen on Ann-Marie and Alyson below). The line washes great and always looks amazing.
I also love the Rosemunde line from Denmark and the Lola and Sophie shirts.
Best Part of being a store owner:
The community of people that have become my customers are like family to me. We love our customers and the neighborhood feeling here in the De Mun area.
Favorite destination to shop:
I love Intermix for their variety and I adore Barney’s New York for their inspiration and real street style. They also have a great eye for emerging designers.
Advice for any future shop owner:
Start small and sample your product before you open a store. It’s best to have an established customer base and grow from there.