After graduating university, Erica Cormier wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next. The idea came to her while shopping.
“I was shopping a lot at other small boutiques, and I was just really into that,” she said. “And I kept saying to myself, ‘That’s what I wish I could do.’”
Eventually she decided to take the plunge, opening 11 Street Boutique almost three years ago. Located at 3132 Isleville St. in the Hydrostone, the store offers clothing, accessories and bags for both men and women.
“It’s small but still a little bit of everything,” Cormier said. “You can get something dressy for a wedding, but you can still get a basic tee and shorts...I think there’s variety without it being overwhelming.”
Cormier is this week’s midweek mugging recipient. She said she decided to offer more than just women’s clothing based on her experience shopping with her own boyfriend.
“We like to go shopping together, so it’s nice when you can go into a space together and there’s something for guys, girls, whoever to look at,” she said.
While some items like Matt and Nat purses and wallets are staples, Cormier said her most popular items tend to change.
“It depends on the time of year,” she said. “Like right now wedding season is coming, so people are buying dresses and jumpsuits.”
When selecting items for the store, Cormier said she often goes with her gut.
“A lot of it’s trial and error,” she said. “I go by my own sense to some extent, just trusting myself that the pieces are popular and people are going to like them...I try to pick some special pieces, but also have stuff that’s super easy to wear every day. It’s always changing.”
For those unable to make it into the boutique, Cormier also has a selection of items available on the boutique’s website.
The store sees a mix of students and young professionals. Now that she’s been open for a few years, Cormier said she enjoys the relationship she’s built with regulars who seek out her opinion.
“I like now seeing familiar faces and knowing I can help,” she said. “They want to hear my advice, and I like picking stuff like, ‘I know a customer is going to be into this.’ I feel like they trust me.”
Cormier said these interactions with customers is one of the best aspects of her job.
“I feel like I’ve built friendships and relationships through here I wasn’t expecting,” she said.