one of my favorite things to do is shop in New York City. I love a good Zara or H&M just as much as the next girl but the boutiques in New York City are unmatched! I will start showcasing some of my favorite boutiques in the NYC Boutique Chronicles once a month. these are the tiny shops dotting the streets of Soho, Nolita, and the Lower East Side.
Boutiques may be intimidating to enter…they look soooo well…exclusive! But the beauty of boutique shopping is a lot like vintage shopping in the way that you can find one of a kind items. Literally some stores stock only 1 of each garment. Don’t be afraid of pricing either. Most of these smaller boutiques are surprisingly wallet friendly. Today we will explore Soi Boutique. A quaint vintage looking boutique complete with spotlight lighting, soft French music and racks of unique pieces from Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.
I also got the chance to speak with Soi Boutique owner Cecilia.
FSNYC: What made you want to start a clothing boutique?
Well, after 10 years of mind-numbing accounting work, I decided to follow my dream of starting my own business. Every weekend I would explore the boutiques of Nolita, Soho, and the Lower East Side. I always enjoyed discovering that special piece to add to my wardrobe. This therapeutic yet thrilling experience led me to start a clothing store.
FSNYC: Where did you come up with the name of the boutique?
10 years ago, I visited Bangkok, Thailand which opened my eyes to how stray dogs are treated there. I witnessed the struggling conditions these strays encountered daily. As a dog owner myself, I felt heartbroken and helpless. My sister said to me, “ If you feel so strongly about it, then do something about it!” I vowed that if I ever started a business, 10% of the profits will go to help the stray dogs of Thailand. Stray dogs in Thailand are referred to as “Soi” dogs. Thus the name of the store was born.
FSNYC: What kind of clothing do you specialize in? What can a girl expect to find at Soi Boutique?
We specialize in one-of-a-kind pieces from Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. These pieces are from up and coming designers who dare to pair chiffon with knit, or fur with tweed. It’s amazing how materials that you don’t think will go together form such a unique, beautiful garment. You can witness that in my store. A girl can expect to be surprised every time they come into Soi Boutique. We carry that special piece that they can easily add to their wardrobe.
FSNYC: What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a clothing boutique?
If there was one piece of advice I can impart its this: Starting a business is easy, sustaining it is another thing. Do your homework, make sure you line up your source for your merchandise, and create a budget. But above all, don’t rush into things. Don’t lie to yourself that your business will be able to survive when the numbers are telling you a different story. It’s best to delay your dream until it becomes feasible.
I thoroughly enjoyed perusing the racks at Soi Boutique. They have an amazing 30% off sale going on and the pieces really are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. I even got a super cute sweatshirt top with sheer shoulders and a peplum hem! talk about 3 trends in one amazing top! I can’t wait to rock it. If you are in Nolita then wander on over to 166 Elizabeth St. and check out Soi Boutique. Everything I loved was less than $100! Find yourself a unique fashion STEELE that will set you apart from the mega store drones.
Huge thanks to Cecilia for inviting me to Soi Boutique check them out on Facebook!