THIS CONTEMPORARY BOUTIQUE IS SETTLING INTO ITS NEW SOUTH SHORE HOME FABULOUSLY
BY AMANDA McCOY • PHOTOS BY AMANDA DOMENECH
Launching a successful small business was a longstanding dream of Terri Coté, yet the mother of three confided that it took considerable time to make real. She swished around a few ideas over the years, but none of them took root. It wasn’t until she visited a fashion trade show in Las Vegas in 2017 with her then husband that the right concept presented itself an inclusive fashion boutique for both women and men.
“It was overwhelming at first,” recalled Coté of the experience at Magic Trade Show, one of the largest fashion marketplaces in the U.S. “Then I fell in love with the idea of having my own closet to share. It’s then I knew that this is what I needed to do.”
With a background in bookkeeping, Coté knew launching the enterprise would require meticulous planning. Beginning in July 2017, she and her partner began the process, mapping an ideal space and other preliminaries. They decided they would also incorporate men’s apparel, as there were not many options for contemporary clothing of this kind on the island. That December, they celebrated the grand opening of Boutique Boutique on Richmond Valley Road.
But as fashion trends change, so do the waters of business ownership, and just this year, Coté decided the time had come to move into a new space. The reason for relocation was two fold: Coté and her husband/business partner were going their separate ways, and her strip mall location wasn’t giving the store the exposure it needed to prosper. After consideration and with the support of her mother and family, she decided to remain in her hometown and recently found a more visible storefront in a bustling plaza on Page Avenue.
“My ex really supported me in the move to a new location, and this one was prime,” she said. “I knew I didn’t want to move too far away from our customers and that I needed to stay in my hometown…felt full heartedly that this is where I’m supposed to be. It’s been a new beginning with customers, who often also become new friends.”
Even after taking the full reins of the business, Coté remained involved in local organizations. She belongs to the Verrazano Kiwanis, the Executive Club of Staten Island, and the Staten Island Chamber Business Guild II, among others. As a supporter of small businesses, she actually appreciates the fact that there are three other fashion boutiques within a small radius of her new location.
“Our customers come back because we care about them and we are honest,” she said. “And I do my best to not carry the same brands as other local boutiques. If I don’t have it, I send them to a store that might. I’m a true believer in supporting other local businesses…a happy customer is the main priority.”
When curating collections for the store, Coté explained, creating an atmosphere of inclusivity remains paramount. So, a considerable range of sizes and styles are on hand, ranging from date night apparel to athletic wear. Accessories, hats, and handbags are also in stock, with the owner constantly funneling in new inventory. Notably smaller than her former 1,400 square foot space, the Page Avenue boutique offers the benefit of intimacy, allowing Coté to give more personalized attention.
“It’s a great size,” she said. “I have the manageable space to showcase new inventory properly…to give customers the attention they deserve. I’m excited to also give more attention to e commerce customers with our online store platform, which wasn’t easy to do so with such a large quantity of inventory.”
The new location is slated to celebrate its grand opening on December 14th.
53 Page Avenue / 718.967.3700