Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review of Blue Apron

Readers!  We have a treat for you today!  Since the JUGs are a bit rusty in the cooking arena, we wanted to bring you fresh content on that lifestyle subject from someone who knows far more about it, and a service that makes the process easy enough for us to follow.  So... we have a guest blogger for you today!  Take it away, Alie!

What’s better than a home cooked meal on a chilly fall night?  Not much, but if you’re like me, prepping and planning for your night of domesticity might have you throwing in the towel and reaching for the take out menu.  Sure, browsing for recipes is a great way to kill those slow afternoons at work, but the trip to the grocery store and the schlep home can take the fun out of actually cooking.  Plus, what’s worse than finding a recipe that sounds great but requires a ton of ingredients you don’t already have?

Enter Blue Apron.  Once a week they will deliver pre-measured ingredients for three meals right to your door.  Opt for 2, 4 or 6 servings (depending on whether you’re just feeding yourself or a whole family…or having a dinner party!) and it will arrive on the day of your choosing.  The food is packaged in a way that keeps it fresh and cold even if you’re not home to accept the delivery.  Every ingredient is labeled and all the extras – like spices, sauces, condiments, etc. – are measured out in little containers and put in one of three “knick-knack bags” (one for each meal).  The only thing you have to provide is olive oil (and a kitchen.) From there, you follow the recipe which is very straight forward and comes on a piece of thick, glossy paper, complete with step-by-step pictures and tips. Most meals I have cooked are complete within 30 – 45 minutes.

I love the service, and use it about once a month.  You can opt in or out each week and there is no subscription fee.  It is $9.99 per person, per meal, so one week for two people (shipping included) is $59.94.  Obviously, whether or not this works out to be cheaper than a trip to the grocery store for ingredients for three meals will depend on your current cooking habits. For me, living by myself with a relatively sparse pantry, this is cheaper, and I end up with enough food for 3 dinners and 3 lunches for the week. 

I do wish that the menu options were more flexible.  There are vegetarian and omnivore options, and you can opt out of any types of meat or fish you don’t like.  However, each week they make two menus available, one vegetarian and one for omnivores.  Despite being a meat eater, I’m still a big veggie lover, and oftentimes I’d like to have two vegetarian meals and one meat one, or vice versa.  Unfortunately, you can’t pick and choose between the two menus.  Another small grievance is that I hate chopping vegetables! I would love if they came pre-chopped, but I do understand the freshness factor involved there.

Despite those two little gripes, I highly recommend the service.  The ingredients are fresh, high quality and in many cases, local.  They clearly list their suppliers right on their website.   (As an upstate New Yorker, I already buy a lot of my produce directly from Samascott Orchards at my farmers market, so it’s great to know I can get the same high quality produce in my Blue Apron box!) Even if you’re not up for the full Blue Apron experience, check out their recipes! All of them are available for free, and I have yet to make one that wasn’t absolutely delicious.  Bon Appetit!


The content of this post is the opinion of the author and such that JUGs editors support.  If you are interested in guest-posting, be sure to reach out to us for requirements and guidelines!

- Meredith

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Week of September 29th

A R O U N D   T H E   H U B
It's almost October and the Oktoberfest celebrations have already started. Want to get in on the action? Bostinno has the 8 can't-miss Oktoberfest celebrations in Boston ready for your enjoyment.

Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary lives in Boston (Marlborough street to be exact). Now is the time to get your pitches straight incase you run into him on the street. Oh, and maybe read this Q&A interview with him first so you craft a decent conversation starter.

A R T S   &   E N T E R T A I N M E N T
Lena Dunham's new book, Not That Kind of Crazy, comes out this week and to help promote it she is starring in a mini video series, #AskLena, where she tries to help solve your crazy. Crazies helping crazies. We like that.

Mildly obsessed with the two new rumored True Detective cast additions.

Still a few more weekends for Fall weddings. If you're a bridesmaid or maid of honor, pack some necessary items from this wedding day emergency kit.

Just another reason to love Flash Tattoos.

It's jacket time. But how do you stay chic? Glamour rounded up 5 chic ways to wear a fall jacket from some of the most stylish bloggers around.

Linda Rodin might be older than most of your style icons, but boy can she rock it (insert lady crush here).

Have a great week everyone!

- Suzanne

Image Source

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Color Clutch is a Nail Polish Solution for Every Gal

If you're a nail polish hoarder like us (like we have a nail polish addiction) then the Color Clutch is the product you've been waiting for. No need to fill your medicine cabinet full of Essie only to have your ridiculous collection topple into the sink every time your roommate grabs an advil. Color Clutch provides a neat, organized, and sleek way to store your polishes out of sight - but handy when you need them. With Color Clutch, you can store and display 18 bottles of any size nail polish bottle in just 2.5 inches of shelf space:

Color Clutch just launched their Kickstarter this week - we are so excited to see their progress. Both the pouch and the display case are sold for $30 in robins egg blue - but more colors may be announced if they reach their kick starter goal! Make sure to check it out and support these amazing entrepreneurs.

- Cameron

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daily Read: The Workher

You know we love posting about female entrepreneurs following their passions in our "Who's That Gal" Series.  Well, today's daily read is essentially a sister from another mister (and continent).  I came across The Workher via pinterest, and Sydney gal Laura Douglas appropriately dubs her blog "A survival guide for the young working woman."  Her "Inspiring Women" posts are similar to WTG with a sweet Aussie vibe.  

Cameron, Suzanne and I are lucky enough to enjoy where we work, but one can never stop growing, and The Workher is a great resource for this encouragement.  I also like how she directs content to Gen Y readers, peer advice is something we can learn a lot from!  We think that this young blog is just starting to blossom.  You heard it here first!

Some noteworthy posts from The Workher for your perusal:

- Meredith

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

App Review: Spring

If Instagram and Tinder had a baby and that baby loved shopping, it'd be Spring, the latest mobile shopping app that expects to be a serious game changer in the e-commerce world.

With your Spring account you can follow brands and their latest products will display on your feed. From there you can like an item (to save to your "Loves" list), share an item with a friend, or buy it on the spot. Pretty cool right?

You can discover new brands or trends via the "Discover" section where stylists and lookbooks are displayed or you can browse via category or the master list of shops available on the app. Many name brands like Warby Parker,Vince, Mara Hoffman, and Joie, area already on the app but what's really cool is when you sign up, Spring also defaults you to follow a bunch of underground brands. While some might be a strike and a miss for your style, it is great exposure for the brands and helps any gal who doesn't want to dress like every other gal (aka a basic betch), discover new designers. Unfollowing brands is also as simple as click "Unfollow," which is what I am in the process of doing for anyone that is way over my budget, cough cough Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, etc.

Some of my new favorite and cost friendly stores that Spring helped me discover include:

USA based swimsuit company that uses vintage and reclaimed textiles to create their colorful styles.

Industry Standard
Minimalist skinny jeans that start at $95 (amazing).

Bing Bang Jewelry
Made by a former blacksmith, their jewelry is badass with a femine touch.

My biggest and only gripe with the app is that it's so easy to purchase and item once you put in your payment info and frankly I'm a little scared of what might happen after a few glasses of wine. Maybe I should email them and ask them to put in a passcode or some sort of intoxicated blocker...

To learn more about Spring visit these helpful links:


Quick Purchases, Sleek Brands, No Social: How New App Spring Looks To Crack Mobile Shopping (Forbes)

- Suzanne

(Images via Forbes)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week of September 22


L E A R N 

Continue detoxing your cosmetic collection by reading How Dirty is Your Favorite Makeup?

The New England Aquarium free fall lecture series kicks off on Thursday with a presentation by Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish and American Catch. 

Need a fashion fix? Head to MassArt to check out the Wearable Art 2014 exhibit, on display every day this week.

And don't forget, this weekend is the Let's Talk About Food Festival in Copley Square!

G E T  F I T

I'm on the last week of J + A's Whole Detox, so stay tuned to hear about the full experience and transformation.

Tonight is Ali Baldassare's last free outdoor cardio pilates class on the Greenway - be there at 6:30.


The North End's second Mexican restaurant just opened. Will you be checking out Urban Cantina?

Whistle Pig party at Carrie Nation on Tuesday - we don't have all the info just yet, but stay tuned on twitter to learn the details.

Big news - the JUGS are teaming up with one of Boston's favorite boutiques for a fun event on October 20! Stay tuned...

Have great week and don't stop ordering pumpkin spice lattes just because buzzfeed is hating on them!

- Cameron

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whole Food Detox Check-In

So I am about halfway through Team J+A's Whole Food Detox - their 14 day program that cuts out all processed foods and foods that can irritate and cause inflammation and bloating. This includes: soy, corn, gluten, red meat (I'm cutting out all meat), dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and added sugar. I know, that sounds awful and super-restricted, but it is surprisingly easy (minus the caffeine withdrawal headaches). Jody and Ashley provide a pretty awesome meal plan and recipes that have all been delicious so far! My main takeaway so far: tahini sauce is delicious on everything - and includes a decent amount of protein.

I was pretty exhausted for the first couple days after giving up coffee, but I look forward to seeing more of the positive impacts of detoxing next week. My goal is to feel increased energy and hopefully get rid of some regular bloating. And I'm sure my liver appreciates the break.

But hey, if those don't end up happening, at least I've learned some amazing new recipes! Stay tuned for updates.

photos courtesy of  www.teamjanda.com

- Cameron

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Lace-Up: Love It or Hate It?

// inspiration //
L to R // black // nude // burgundy
R to L // taupe // navy // magenta // fog gray

You know when you see one (luxurious) item and everything else just falls to the wayside?  Well, that is what happened when I first saw this wish-list item of suede Aquazurra flats.  They're staying on the fantasy fashions pinboard, though.  And, as a somewhat heel-hater, because I am trying to add more heels to my shoe collection, I've rounded up much more budget-friendly options with mid-to-high heels, depending on your preference.

What do you think of the lace-up trend?  If you love it, would you need to have the heel or prefer the more literal translation of a ballet flat?  Let us know by commenting below, or via twitter // instagram!

- Meredith

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mini Daily Read: Free People Pinterest Boards

In case you've been stuck in the office all day, NEWSFLASH: fall is here. While it is hard to see summer go, its fun to look to pinterest as the seasons change and get inspired for the months to come. One of the most uplifting accounts the JUGs follow is Free People. We love their women in nature theme that borders bohemian, outdoorsy, and feminine. Their "crisp air" board is a great reminder that just because the temps are lower than 60, doesn't mean we need to shutter ourselves inside. All of their boards are perfectly curated with photos from other retailers and bloggers - we love that their boards aren't too sales-y. Free People are definitely some of Pinterest's best tastemakers! 

- Cameron

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Join JUGs Book Club

Join our book club by reading each of these books by the beginning of its designated month. During the first week of each month, we'll post our discussion questions so you can get more out of your reading! Feel free to post your answers/thoughts/or additional questions in the "comments" section. We are really excited for these next six reads! Enjoy.

- Cameron

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Week of September 15th

Fall is in the air!  Here are some updates you need to know about this week:

LC got married this past weekend!

Martha has some fighting words.

L I F E  A D V I C E
Emily outlines some great money-related tips good to know sooner than later.

How to find the best foundation for your skin.

The new RMV branch opens at Haymarket today.  Definitely more convenient than the Chinatown location, but how do we think this will change the area?

Our lovely blogging neighbor to the north, Stephanie Sterjovski, relaunched her printshop today and she really did not miss a detail; everything looks so cheery and cohesive!

One of the secrets behind Disney movies.

A new hit song made better by this lovable video.

An amazing Drake cover ballad.

The things about life that dogs teach us that no one should take for granted!

Altuzarra for Target just launched and has some great pieces for work.

Something that no one can stop talking about, Apple's keynote last week.  That Apple Watch is just unreal.  What was your favorite part of the big announcements?

Have a great week, everyone!

- Meredith

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Local Gem: The Barking Crab

There are so many iconic places to visit in Boston that sometimes us locals don't make enough time for!  The Barking Crab was always a place I passed and meant to go for a beer on the water, but never made it.  Luckily, a great excuse came up when we were invited to TBC's 20th Anniversary Party earlier this summer.  It was such a great night and we promised ourselves we'd be back.

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to receive an invitation for dinner to try the 20th Anniversary Menu at this renowned seafood shack on the Harbor's waves.  Executive Chef Joshua Brown did NOT disappoint.  Following the amazing appetizers of white wine muscles and the "Stuffie," Suzanne and I each had the "Naked Lobster Roll" while Cameron had the Fried Clams.  With the reggae band and festive atmosphere, this is one on-the-water venue in the city that cannot be missed.  Plus, with this view, what is not to like?!

Be sure to check out The Barking Crab, at 88 Sleeper Street in the Seaport District!

- Meredith

Thank you to CBH Communications for this opportunity! Complimentary meal provided.  All opinions are our own.  Top photo courtesy of TBCs photo stream, others taken by author.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


As Boston is a front-runner for innovation and entrepreneurship, we are lucky to be in a city where there are many influential women all around us. Since starting our blog, Cam, Meredith and myself have found ourselves attending many women-only networking groups that I feel completely grateful to have stumbled into by accident. 

They started as a space for us to go out, grab a drink and promote our blog, and have grown into a network of peers we ask not only about blog advice, but life, health and career advice. Many of the women we have met have participated in our Who's That Gal series and have become long term friends that inspire us in so many ways, which is something I know we are all three very amazed by.

As we like to share inspiring stories in our Who's That Gal series, we also aim to provide our readers with the best resources we know of. Below is the list of groups we have attended and found to be great spaces for learning, connecting and brainstorming, and we hope you accept this list as an invite to join the Boston networks of hustling gals that we have fortunately found ourselves in.  

If anyone has other networking resources for women they'd like to share, please send them along as we are always looking for input!

- Suzanne

Young Women in Digital
Young Women in Digital is a networking group for professionals working, or interested in working in digital marketing, social media, experiential and online marketing.  Typically events are held twice a month and vary from cocktail meet ups to panel led discussions or workshops. 

Bos Lady Project
The BOS Lady Project is the sister chapter to Providence based group, The Lady Project, and hosts monthly events for women looking to connect and get inspired by other entrepreneurial women around the bean.  Each event features the BOS 3×3, three local women of different backgrounds, industries and career levels share their story in three minutes.

Bonus - since they are a non-profit organization,  each event benefits a local charity or organization that is either run by women or benefits women in our community.

Wonder Women in Boston
Wonder Women of Boston is an open community of ambitious, accomplished women of all ages and backgrounds in the greater Boston area. Whether you work are an entrepreneur, job-seeker, or student, Wonder Women in Boston is a network that aims to help build helpful relationships and skills for rewarding life work for the female community in and around Boston.

Ladies Lounge (via General Assembly & WeWork)
Ladies Lounge is a monthly event hosted by General Assembly and WeWork that features women entrepreneurs. Each event is focused around one theme and generally has up to three speakers as well as time for mingling.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Daily Read: Zipped

I recently discovered Chelsea Lane of Zipped via Instagram and have been checking her blog every day since. Chelsea, a young professional by day and blogger by night, seems to have the most stylish life in the mid-west I've seen yet. But what really brings me back to her blog everyday is that  she's a real girl who wears affordable and comfortable brands...and kills it everyday. And her hair is amazing.

To follow Chelsea and her outfit inspiration check out her blog, Zipped, and her instagram account, Truelane.

- Suzanne

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Back to School" Shopping

metallic folders ($9) // acrylic tiered organizer ($18)
// essential pen collection ($20) //
my go-to planner for 2015* ($58) // neon nesting boxes ($54)
// desk blotter ($12) //

I have always been someone who enjoyed shopping for school supplies at the start of a new school year (maybe a little too much).  I still never skip a trip to the Container Store when passing by.  Even though school is over for most of us, September always seems to present a fresh start, even if it is just a mental state.  There are plenty of "grown-up" supplies out there to transform your work space into one a bit more airy and minimal while also helping you GSD (get sh*t done).  Trust me, I've done the research!  What is your favorite "school supply" item to keep you on top of your game?

- Meredith

*Full review of the planner to come in 2015!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Week of September 8th

Blogger DomestikatedLife is hosting a DIY craft night at Farm & Fable September 25. Register soon and don't miss out on a fun night of making your own recipe box!

The famed Russian punk band Pussy Riot will be coming to Harvard September 15th to discuss the importance of freedom of speech and civil rights. Tickets can be attained by a lottery system here, but they will also be live streaming the event for those who cannot attend. 

Still nervous about attending the November Project? Here's a drone video of a typical Wednesday workout to convince you one more time to "just show up."

Vulture ranks the top 5 new shows for fall.

Sometimes we forget there was a relentless and talented woman behind the crude jokes. Here's a thoughtful ode to Joan Rivers, one of the hardest working female comedians of our time via The New York Times.

F A S H I O N  &  S T Y L E
Studies show, that people do judge...a little. Find out how clothing impacts your success via Levo League

I honestly can't keep up with all the photos coming out of NYFW so here's a two links that I found to be great visual summaries: The Prettiest Pics from NYFW (R29) and Street Style at NYFW (Vogue).

Have a great week, gals! Follow along for more updates on twitter at @justusgalsbos.

- Suzanne

(Image via Remodelista)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall To-Do List

While we still have a few more beach days left, I have to say I am very excited for fall weather, clothes and activities. As a true New Englander, I love all seasons equally and while I am sad to bid adeui to summer, let's all just admit that it'll be nice to not wear a bikini for a bit.

Since my overall 2014 goal has been to experience life in a more wholistic and fulfilling way by trying new things, staying true to myself and living in the moment, I the follow to-do's for fully embracing this fall season:

1. Go apple apple picking
Every year I say I'll do this and truthfully, I have yet to do this since high school. Pathetic, I know. Luckily Massachusetts has a lot of easily accessible apple picking areas so there is no excuse in missing out on a great day this year.

My top pick: Nashoba Valley Winery since it has a vineyard too.

2. Become a crockpot queen
I got into crockpotting last year and it saved me a lot of money, time and worrying about meals during busy weeks.

Next recipe to try: Chicken Tortilla Soup

3. Run a half marathon
After completing my first 5 mile race at the Harpoon 5 Miler, I was so excited that I challenged myself and completed something I never thought possible, especially since I literally stopped running after finishing high school JV field hockey. This summer I decided to challenge myself yet again and have been training for my first half marathon!

Half marathon: Newport Marathon October 12

4. Go hiking, camping or even glamping
I'm not the crunchiest girl, but I do have an outdoorsy side. I went to Adirondack Camp and lived in the Outing Club in college so I love camping and hiking (but easy trails are preferred). I'm also pretty interested in trying out the new trend of glamorous camping, aka a "glamping."

Helpful guides for planning a Peak Weekend for you and your friends: New England Camp Grounds, Adirondack Hiking Guide, and Adirondack Campgrounds

5. Tailgate with friends
Everybody knows football and fall go hand and hand, and the only part that I like about that is tailgating with friends.

My tailgate pics for the 2014 season:
Boston College Football
Harvard vs. Yale

- Suzanne

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Healthy Lip Color Guide

1. Ilia Lipstick in Wild Child, $26
EWG SkinDeep: not rated
Think Dirty: not rated
GoodGuide: not rated

Why to Buy: Though Ilia lipstick is not rated by any of my go-to makeup ingredient checkers, it is sold at Follain, which has unparalleled standards for the safety and efficacy of their products. This lipstick is my absolute favorite because it is bold, fairly matte, and has major staying power. Wild Child is the perfect color to transition from the bright pinks of summer to the darker tones of fall.  

2. RMS Lip Shine in Sacred, $25
EWG SkinDeep: not rated
Think Dirty: 3 (clean)
GoodGuide: 10 (best!)

Why to Buy: RMS has quickly become our favorite healthy beauty brand, and the lip shine is no exception. This pocket friendly lipstick is easy to wear as a light gloss, or to layer on for a more bold look. Plus, the RMS lip shine passes the ThinkDirty App and Goodguide criteria with flying colors!

3. Mineral Fusion Lip Sheer Moisture Lip Tint in Glow, $10
EWG SkinDeep: 4 (moderate hazard)
Think Dirty: not rated
GoodGuide: 3.9

Why to Buy: I am a huge fan of lip crayons. They are super easy to apply, even without a mirror. This super-affordable mineral lip tint is perfect for daytime wear. The company offers a variety of colors but I am loving "glow" which is a fun bubble gum pink. This lip tint didn't get amazing grades from our third party reviewers mainly because it contains Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A additive) which can make your skin more sensitive to the sun - so make sure to wear a lip balm with sunscreen under this product.

4. Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Hint, $22
EWG SkinDeep: 2 (low hazard)
Think Dirty: 0 (cleanest)
GoodGuide: 4 (not enough information)

Why to Buy: Vapour Organic is an awesome brand. It is like RMS but for makeup lovers - or for a night out when you want a bit more coverage and color. Wearers can rest assured that their lips will be healthy, protected, and look beautiful while wearing this product. It doesn't contain any concerning ingredients.

- Cameron

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Who [Are Those] Gals: Nicole and Heather of Ku De Ta

One of our favorite places to shop, KuDeTa, is a name most of you must know from the South Boston location as a must-visit shopping venue.  We recently had the chance to talk with the owners at a local cafe.  It is amazing how quickly their brand has grown, and we look forward to supporting their successes, especially with recently-opened second location!  Read on for more! 

Nicole Cronin (L) and Heather O’Connell (R), KuDeTa
As told to JUGs July 23, 2014
Okay, this is probably the first thing people ask you, but we’re dying to know the story behind the name KuDeTa, do tell!
We were the first clothing store to open in South Boston.  So, the words “coup d'├ętat” means “revolution,” and the tagline for our store is that “the fashion revolution starts here,” except it is usually spelled a different way, so to mess everyone up, we changed the spelling from the French way to Asian writing.  So, until we put up accessories and clothing next to our storefront logo, people, at first, thought we were a sushi restaurant!  

Please walk us through your backgrounds, and the joint decision to become business owners!
Nicole founded KuDeTa in 2006, and I had graduated from URI with my bachelor’s degree in Textiles, Merchandising and Design in 2007.  After graduating, I was working at a job that I didn’t like at all. One day I just couldn’t continue with my then job and literally just drove away. I drove to Southie and applied as a waitress at The Boston Beer Garden and walked across the street to apply at KuDeTa. I met Nicole and [then store General Manager] Molly.  Later that week I was brought in for an interview and was hired.  I started out very part-time, just three days a week as a Sales Associate.  From that, it grew to an Assistant Manager position then General Manager and eventually buyer/  When the opportunity came to open a second location, Nicole offered me an option to partner with her in Chestnut Hill, which I couldn’t pass up!
So, how it all started for me was I didn’t go to school for fashion, I went for liberal arts.  I always loved fashion, I always loved looking at magazines.  After college, I was bartending, making great money and told myself I just had to grow up.  I  got my real estate license and figured this is what I’m going to do, make a big sale [and be happy doing that].  Then, on the weekends, I found myself sitting down with fashion magazines.  My husband would say to me, “You know, you really need to read the real estate section, this is what you do now.  But, if you want to do something else just go with it and I’ll support you.”  I knew I didn’t want to read the real estate section, so one day driving through Southie, he said to me “Go with it and do it now, or don’t do it at all” (referring to opening a boutique).  So it was a huge, huge risk, to go for it, so but I did, and now we’ve been in business for eight (!) years.  Heather and I just have such a great harmony.  I can completely trust Heather to run the store, and she is part of the reason we opened the new location.  Plus, we’d love to expand more, 4, 5 stores, maybe even a private label!  We want to be trying new things and expanding our brand.  We’re not buying for 100 Heathers, or all Nicoles, we’re buying for every type of girl. There are so many different styles meshed into one store.  

We think you were one of the leaders in turnaround of East Broadway (back in 2006), not an easy task!  How did you decide on boutique locations, in Southie and now in Chestnut Hill?
From the beginning, the South Boston community was super supportive of KuDeTa.  Back in ‘06 when I opened the store I did so because there was nowhere to shop in South Boston. I could see that it was something the community needed. If you wanted to go shopping you had to take a cab, bus or train downtown. Opening KuDeTa made it easy for girls to stop in and grab a last-minute outfit for a night on the town or a gift or whatever they may have needed that night. As we grew so did our brands and labels we carried and we became more of a shopping destination for women not only in South Boston but also throughout the city. We were able to bring downtown styles to South Boston, so now women don’t have to go far from home to shop designer brands and the latest trends.  The developers of The Street actually approached us. We’ve always talked of expansion but it was a question of where was the right fit for us. After many meetings, research and planning we decided that The Street would be perfect for KuDeTa.  There’s still a feel of small business (Polka Dog Bakery, Portobello Road) as well as national brands (Lululemon, Intermix), which creates an incredible mix in one intimate location.
Starting where we did has prepared us for what has come now, and we’re constantly trying to grow our client base in CH just as we did in Southie, which we know takes a lot of work, but know it’s worthwhile.  We’ve already had return customers within our first month of opening in Chestnut Hill and look forward to continuing to grow the store and brand. So far, so good!

How do you feel each store location caters to its local demographic?  
South Boston has more moderate price points in comparison to Chestnut Hill.  When we decided to go into The Street, being able to keep prices moderate was a major factor in store #2.  South Boston is a more a mix of young professionals, whereas in Chestnut Hill we’re able to elevate our price point a little bit and bring in lines such as 525 America (a great knitwear line), Bella Dahl (huge Celeb following) and Mother Denim. Plus a lot of Australian brands like Lovers and Friends and Keepsake for more edge, and a higher price point.  It’s been fun to bring in pieces that we may not have thought about offering before.  In the same breath, it’s been great to test the waters in Southie first and see how things are so relevant to our customer base.  

Who do you look to for inspiration, either personal or business-related?
I would say Kate Moss, I’ve always loved the way she dresses. My family inspires me to work hard, I learned a great work ethic from my mom and dad.  Nicole has definitely guided me. I was a just a little one in the beginning, all wide-eyed.  I also learned a lot from Molly, the former General Manager, who laid a lot of the company’s foundation.  I also get a lot of inspiration from media, in seeing what other people are doing, like other Boston boutiques; there is such a great synergy!  When you see others doing great things, it makes you want to do the same, it’s really a healthy competition.  Just like our boutique neighbors in both locations, it’s inspirational!

What are your favorite aspects of your work?  Least favorite?
We both think being your own boss is awesome, although also challenging since everything falls on your shoulders. I feel like I’m always glued to my phone making sure everything is running smoothly at the store but I want to be available as a resource, too.

We must applaud you on your low-pressure approach to customer service. Too often, local boutiques have snobby or pushy team members representing their personal brand, which is a real turn off to the shopping experience.  How did you establish this with those you employ?
That’s been my goal from the beginning.  When women walk in, we welcome them and generally suggest they browse, and after trying something, they seek our opinion, and we’re able to naturally help women feel like their very best self. I’ve had customers say that coming in to shop at KuDeTa is the best part of their day, and I try to keep that in the back of my head when helping customers. We just like to have fun and want people to feel comfortable, I think that resonates at both our stores.  Even if you want to come in for a chat, we’re here for you!  

From your website, we saw that you host Girls’ Night Out, that sounds so fun!  Tell us more!
We host Girls’ Night Out sessions during the week, from 7-9 at our Southie location. We provide wine, hors d'oeuvres and 20% off all store merchandise and you just need to have 10 women minimum, which is our one requirement. We have a lot of customers who do it every season, we’ll put on your favorite music and just run with it. In Chestnut Hill we close a bit later, so we’re still finalizing hours, updates will be on our website.

What do you see next for KuDeTa?
We definitely want to open more stores, continue looking into doing a private label and
anything to brand ourselves as a business.  Anything is possible! We’re never going to stray from who we are. Of course right now, we’re focused on Chestnut Hill, then we’ll be taking over the world!

Any fashion predictions for the future of Boston style?
Boston is constantly evolving, there is an influx of young, interesting people. With all the European influences, we’re ever-changing. The city is growing so much, and we’re going to see a big influence in that.  People are having more fun with style than before. I think we’re going to see different types of styles than what we’re used to, more experimentation. 

Are there any upcoming promotions we can let our readers in on?
Your readers can sign up via our website for the latest updates as well as social media.  We’re also on Boutikey, which is a great way to find out about flash sales.
JUGs Quickies:
Favorite line/item that you carry
Pink Martini is my favorite line right now, their piece have great flair.  I’m also a big denim fan, mostly True Religion and Mother.  Lovers and Friends is a great new line, too. Free People, I just love everything they do.  They have this white dress with black embroidery that definitely makes me feel like a “10,” it is killer!  I also love Alternative Apparel for classic, simple back-to-basics, especially when it’s hot out!  Their prices are reasonable, too, for such great pieces.
Favorite food spot/watering hole in Southie
The Playwright // I’m a Lucky’s girl!
Favorite food spot/watering hole in Chestnut Hill
Davio’s // Del Frisco’s, they have a great number of options for vegetarians!
Most inspiring female to you today
Vivienne Starlite, 3, she’s my best friend (and daughter)! // My mother. And if we’re going non-personal, I’m a big Oprah fan.
Last book you read (our blog initially started as a book club):  
The First Phone Call From Heaven, by Mitch Albom, I just love all of his books! // All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner, it was a great summer read, and the author has ties to New England, which is always relatable.
Dream brand collaboration
Red Valentino // Samantha Wills (Australian jewelry designer on my radar), found via Instagram

What are you waiting for?! Get yourself to one of KuDeTa's fabulous locations today!

- Meredith

photos courtesy of KuDeTa's instagram page and website