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Boston Boutique Folks Share a Pivotal Trip From Their Career

Tara Foley from Follain spent time in lavender fields; Image via Shutterstock
Tara Foley from Follain spent time in lavender fields; Image via Shutterstock

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Flash back to the moment you knew which career was right to pursue—maybe a trip to the Eiffel Tower revealed a love of engineering, or volunteer work cemented an interest in nursing. We knew there had to be some inspiring moments behind the careers of people in the Boston boutique scene, so we went right to the source. Here are some memorable trips from Patch NYC, Follain, Olives & Grace, and more.

"Describe one trip you've taken that has influenced or inspired your career most."

Sofi Mercedes Madison, Olives & Grace:
I used to live in San Francisco, and every time I go back I'm wildly inspired by the artistic beat of the city. My neighbors were always brewing up batches for the farmers markets, my roommate painting for a show, creativity was everywhere I looked. From there I sort of adopted the idea that I could weave creativity into my day, rather than save time for it when I finished everything else. I run a shop, but I sell inspiration and creativity.

Brittney Rothweiler, The Tannery:
My trip I took to London, which was my semester abroad, is one that changed my life and veered me towards a career in the fashion industry. I was exposed to so many cultures, traveling as much as I could to as many countries as possible, each having a distinct take on fashion. I fell in love with the unique European sense of style and knew the fashion industry was where I wanted to end up.

Tara Foley, Follain:
In the spring of 2011, I volunteered on an organic lavender farm in Lherm, a tiny town in the Southwest region of France. During the trip I learned how to nurture, harvest, and create products from a single plant. This experience helped me appreciate the people, processes, and environment needed to bring a great skincare product to life. It has also shaped many decisions I've faced while launching my own healthy skincare business.

Lana Barakat, December Thieves:
Two months spent on the back of a moped in Bali with tour guide, and now friend, "Feri" gave me access to back roads, remote villages, and a slew of talented artisans that inspired me and influenced my design sensibility. The uncompromising ability of the Balinese to surround themselves with beauty, both natural, with their lush green rice fields and imposing volcanoes, and manmade—personified in their art, rituals, and majestic temples, is truly inspirational. Beauty is everywhere in Bali; it's hard not to be influenced by it. I always use my "Balinese lens" when I contemplate my own designs and jewelry line, as well as when I decide which artists to carry at December Thieves.

John Ross, Patch NYC:
In the very early years of Patch NYC, we took a trip to London in the hopes of selling our collection to shops there. We traversed the city with our collection of selling samples, checking out stores and presenting our work to buyers. One of the first buyers we met with was so excited about our work that she called a friend to tell her about this new label called Patch NYC. Turns out her friend happened to be the features editor at British Vogue and the next day we were being photographed for the magazine. A few months later the article came out with some great shots of our collection in addition to the portrait of two somewhat jet-lagged designers. That first piece of press in British Vogue was a huge boost to Patch NYC and really helped launch our brand "across the pond."
· All Travel Week 2013 coverage [Racked Boston]

The Tannery

711 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 267-5500 Visit Website


53 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116 (857) 284-7078 Visit Website

Patch NYC

46 Waltham Street, Boston, MA (617) 426-0592 Visit Website