Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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78 | MAY + JUNE 2015 "I thought Reading needed a higher- end consignment shop," says Ra- chael Bankey, owner of Raspberry Beret, which opened its third loca- tion last October. In the about-to- boom downtown business district where it is located, lunchtime foot traffic is steadily increasing—good news for a new-to-town retailer. Bankey has owned Raspberry Beret for 10 years. The first of her stores opened in Wakefield on the Melrose line. Before owning it, how- ever, she was a frequent browser. "Ten years ago," she notes, "it was kind of a new idea to have a bou- tique consignment shop, and it was really the only place around." One day, she went in to find everything on sale for five dollars. The owner was going out of business. "I wasn't in the market for it at all," recalls Bankey, "but a friend recommended I buy it. I pulled it together, and in the first year, sales tripled." Ultimately, she outgrew that space and opened a second location in Cambridge. "That one is altogeth- er different—it's the city, so it has to be." With three distinct locales, Bankey must be cognizant of her cli- enteles' disparate tastes and choose stock accordingly. High-end lines like Coach, Burberry, Henri Bendel, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture, and Tory Burch will move in Reading, she notes, but not in Cambridge. In the city, people want labels like Anthropologie and vintage items. "Our customers are definitely more creative. They don't necessarily want what's trending, but [rather] what's uniquely them." Many are looking for a certain era or style they can't find in malls. Bankey cer- tainly keeps an eye on trends, but more than that, she pays attention photographs by Anthony Pira BY KILEY JACQUES Business savvy Rachael Bankey shares her penchant for funky flair. Stock Market Raspberry Beret in Reading carries high- end designer lines. to what people want. "A lot of it is about listening," she says. Once a magazine photographer, Bankey has a trained artistic eye. The lifelong thrift store shopper says she's "always loved interest- ing clothes and dressing up." What she didn't know about herself is SHOP

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