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Bonnie Cardillo's plunge into Boston retail all started with a wooden clutch on display at now-defunct boutique Stil on Newbury Street. When ogling the item, she serendipitously encountered a "Now Hiring" sign while looking for part time work to pair with a job at Boston Medical Center. She applied and got the gig, kicking off a six year tenure working the Stil sales floor, eventually moving into a manager role at Boston's outpost of Scoop NYC. The Vermont native discovered the luxury retailer on her first expedition to the Big Apple—a far cry from what she was used to in her home state—and jumped at the opportunity when the company expanded to Massachusetts a couple years ago.
Bonnie cites IRO, which she could "wear head-to-toe all day, every day," Chloe, and Helmut Lang as her favorite designers in the boutique, as well as more underground, avant-garde labels like Japan's edgy LGB. We caught up with Bonnie at another mainstay on our Newbury Street circuit, Pavement Coffeehouse, to discuss her obsession with leather, how to soothe sore feet, and the day Gisele Bundchen walked into Scoop.
How do you take your coffee?
Usually I just drink a regular coffee with two sugars and milk, but I already had one this morning, so now it's a cappuccino.
What's your signature style?
I have to admit that I don't follow fashion season-to-season as much as I should. I'm a creature of habit and ease, so whatever's comfortable. I love leather; I'm usually found in leather pants or jackets. Definitely skinny jeans, easy tops. Furry vests. Basics with a twist.
Describe Boston's fashion sense in three words
Up and coming? Having been in retail here for eight years, I think that we're always going to have that reputation of not being stylish just because we're such a college town. People are always saying "I'd be too dressed up in that," but if everybody thinks that way, nobody will wear those clothes. If we put in more effort, it could be like a domino effect.
The one thing you can't live without?
Besides coffee and fresh air? Boots. I love boots. I could wear them all year round. Frye, rag & bone.
And the one you can't live with?
I'll wear leggings with long tunics, but I can't wear them as pants. They're tights!
Describe a day in the life.
I have a great staff; they are all so young and spirited. Kind of an extension of myself. We start the morning with a little dance party, fun facts of the day and product knowledge, and then we open. Getting shipment is like Christmas every day. We rip open boxes, dig to the bottom to figure out what's amazing, trying everything on. The other day we got an order of Margiela and we were squealing. I think I was born to be in retail. I love the personal relationships I've built.
Which celebrity would excite you most if they came in the store?
Well we've helped Gisele [Bundchen] before, which was really fun. She had such a calming presence and was so friendly, but you couldn't help but be in awe of her.
If you were given an all-expenses paid trip, where would you go and what would you bring?
I don't love flying, but if I could conquer that fear I'd probably go to Spain. I love food. And I'd bring running shoes.
You work in retail and spend a lot of time on your feet. How do you soothe them after a long day?
Fortunately I have the world's best boyfriend. I'm so bad at self care, but definitely peppermint lotion from The Body Shop, and him. I would be stir crazy if I had to sit down all day.
Most played song right now?
Guilty pleasure: I recently downloaded Ke$ha's "Timber." It has a good beat to it for the gym.
Are you more of a tomboy or a girly girl?
Tomboy. I grew up around a lot of boys and my dad made me play every sport and do every dirty job known to man. But I've been loving all the girly frills lately.
What do you miss most about Vermont?
The energy is a lot different there. At night with the stars, you feel like you're in a kaleidoscope.
What would you never trade in about living in Boston?
The spirit of the city when games are on. I love sports and so the energy surrounding say, winning the World Series, was breathtaking.
· A Coffee With posts [Racked Boston]
· Scoop NYC [Official Site]