Tucked into a corner of Commonwealth Avenue, three women-owned businesses are flourishing in West Concord.
The women opened their stores in West Concord for the sense of community it offered, finding support and camaraderie from customers and, unexpectedly, from nearby business-owners.
Loveday was the first to open in November 2020, at 115 Commonwealth Ave. Owner Kirsten Ball, a Concord resident, by way of London, said the store offers designer-brand clothing, mostly for women, jewelry, accessories, and a small collection of beauty and home goods. The store is named after her daughter, whose middle name is Loveday.
Most of the items are sourced from the United Kingdom and Europe, with a focus on sustainability. She chooses items she would want to purchase for herself.
“I have to love it myself and want to wear it,” Ball said. “What I found in the Concord area is that people want … practical clothing they can wear in this climate, but they want to have something different about it.”
While people might want practical, quality items, they also want the occasional beautiful dress or blouse for going out on the town, with stylish accessories, she said. Loveday has it all.
Ball strives to ensure that everyone who walks through her door enjoys shopping there.
“There is a rejuvenation since the pandemic. I think consumers … want to have more meaningful experiences,” she said.
She believes customers particularly enjoy shopping at local retailers and Ball goes out of her way to connect with her customers, helping them find that perfect outfit or accessory.
“I want to be inspirational. I want people to feel really comfortable in here. I want to help people try new things, but the most important thing is for people to feel fantastic in what they chose to wear. Clothes can affect your mood and have an effect on your outlook for the day. It’s personal,” she said.
Having other women-owned businesses right next door is a bonus for Ball.
Amy Noordzij, owner of Doe & Fawn, at 105 Commonwealth Ave., couldn’t agree more.
Like Ball, Noordzij lives in Concord, and located her business in West Concord because of the sense of community it provides.
“There are predominantly women owned businesses in West Concord. We really lean on each other for support. It’s been an unexpected joy in opening this business – the relationships I’m building with these women,” she said.
Noordzij opened Doe & Fawn, a children’s store, in September 2022.
Like its name suggests, the store specializes in children’s clothing, toys, books and accessories, with a small section for new caregivers, she said.
Noordzij has a master’s degree in education and wanted products in the store to focus on child development, while highlighting all the creative people producing these items for children.
“The vast majority of the brands [come from] small, women-owned businesses,” she said.
She, too, focuses on sustainability, making sure products are made and shipped in a sustainable way. Most of her products are sourced from the U.S., with some even coming from West Concord.
“I have products here where a woman is making something from home to a big publishing company like Random House,” she said.
New things are always being added to the store, and Noordzij is working on adding a line of vintage clothing. An online shop is coming soon.
Visit doefawn.com for information.
Marta Taylor, owner of Bloom Floral Studio, also relies on the women as she looks to grow her business.
“It’s delightful. I look forward to seeing everybody, because I’m friendly with all of them. We all support each other and we’re all rooting for each other,” Taylor said.
Taylor opened her store in April 2022 at 107 Commonwealth Ave.
A West Concord resident, she decided to open her shop in West Concord because she believes it’s “a fun, up and coming place.”
Flower arrangements, grab-and-go bouquets, house plants and orchids are some of the things people will find in the store. Taylor also designs flower arrangements for that special someone, and for large and small events.
Taylor has an extensive background in floral design.
She studied Japanese floral arranging for a couple of years, then entered a flower arranging training program at the Museum of Fine Arts. As part of the program, she spent four years volunteering her time and creating flower arrangements for the museum. She also made flower arrangements for the Concord Museum for several years.
As a small business owner, Taylor sometimes feels she is stretched a little thin, but she is thriving along with her plants, doing something she loves.
She welcomes people to stop by the studio.
“I’m eager to see what people are looking for. It’s a friendly store, come in and say hello,” she added.
Visit bloomconcord.com for information.