Picture this: walking into a store front with a beautiful front window display, words of encouragement and body positivity quotes on the wall and warm “welcome!” from the owner Ani while great music plays throughout the store. That’s exactly what it’s like at Humanity Boutique on 128 Merrimack Street in Downtown Lowell. Ani let me and my #squad roll in and shop ’til we dropped. With that, I got the opportunity to talk to Ani about her journey with the shop.
“In the early 2000s I followed an old boss who was fulfilling his dreams of owning a clothing store. He bought over Giovanni’s in Downtown Lowell and I went to work for him about a year after. Working in Downtown Lowell exposed me to so many other businesses and entrepreneurs. After years of success and the recession in 2008, business slowed down. I was eventually let go and was offered a managerial position at Humanity.” With that, brought the opportunity to eventually own Humanity. “I was actually managing here in 2012 and took it over in 2014. It has always been a dream of mine to have my own shop and be part of a community. Thus the opportunity came in 2014 when the founder and former owner was ready to start new ventures.”
Being a small business requires getting creative to get the word out. One of the ways to do that is by participating in #ShopSmallSaturdays where she invites a vendor to come to her store and sell their one-of-a-kind pieces. She does not take any of the profits from the vendor, but hopes that she gets the opportunity to gain clientele while helping another small business grow their brand. She also plans to grow her brand. “We hope to grow by launching an online retail shop where there is a high demand for. We will continue to work with the community and collaborate with local artists/designers, etc. Our responsibility is to not only draw people into our shop and provide them with great hard to find pieces and customer service but to draw people into Downtown Lowell. This city has had a revitilazation and is on the cusp of something great and beautiful. We love our city and are proud to help nourish it”.
I also find myself getting anxious as I start shopping, but Humanity makes an effort to make you feel as comfortable and relaxed. “We believing in creating a safe space where every women (and man) feels comfortable and make themselves at home. We love to encourage trying on something new that you’d normally think “you don’t know how to wear.” The beauty of being a woman is that we have so many choices and styles where it is unlimited”.
With that, do yourself a favor and head down to Humanity Boutique and see for yourself. She’s open Monday-Saturday from 11-6, and don’t forget to visit on the third Saturday of the month to see a local vendor!
*I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine