Hope & Stetson owner Tamara Laurie is thrilled to bring her store full of ‘cozy, comfy, simple’ items to West Hartford.
By Ronni Newton
As soon as Tamara Laurie officially unlocked the doors and open for business in West Hartford Center on Thursday, she could barely keep up with the demand and even had to grab some extra merchandise from her Mystic store to keep the shelves stocked.
“Life is so crazy and I like to keep things simple. Hope & Stetson is a great place to shop for yourself and for gifts,” said the energetic Laurie, who is excited about the great reception her store has already received.
Stetson opened her Mystic store eight years ago, after she left a job as general counsel at Choate Rosemary Hall. And as the mom of three young children and now owner of two boutiques, Laurie certainly knows what a busy person wants and needs – and that’s what she tries to stock.
She describes her merchandise as “cozy, comfy, simple.”
“Some days you want to buy something special and some days you just want to grab a quick t-shirt,” Laurie said.
“I like go-to pieces,” she said. “The biggest compliment I get is when someone says, ‘I wear it all the time!'” said Laurie.
Hope & Stetson offers a variety of women’s clothing, and a wide range of price points ranging from a $29 t-shirt to a $300 cashmere sweater.
Laurie said that the business’ official name is “Hope & Stetson Sweater Company” – the names “Hope” and “Stetson” are family names – and when she opened the Mystic Store eight years ago she started off focusing on sweaters. However, Hope & Stetson also has a large assortment of denim, women’s accessories, baby clothing and gifts, and home goods. “I’ve got some great vegan bags, too,” Laurie added.
The furniture – which includes shelves, tables, and chairs – that the merchandise is displayed on is all for sale, too. So are many of the light fixtures.
There’s a definite nautical theme, especially in some of the local artwork (which can also be purchased) that lines the walls. Laurie said she “had to bring a little bit of the sea” from Mystic to West Hartford.
Clothing labels include Lucky Brand, Paige Denim, Blank NYC Denim, Hanky Panky, White + Warren, and Subtle Luxury Cashmere. Laurie decided to stock Lilly Pulitzer because she felt it was something missing in the Center once Silkworm, which previously occupied her Farmington Avenue space, closed in late January.
Although Laurie lives in East Haddam, she has been connected with West Hartford for years. Her husband, Robert Laurie, is a partner in the West Hartford law firm Seiger Gfeller Laurie, and is also president of The Bridge Family Center Board of Directors. One of the couple’s children attends Ben Bronz Academy in West Hartford.
Laurie said she has been looking for the right space for a second store for a long time, and thinks the 982 Farmington Ave. spot is perfect.
“I really felt that I could complement what’s here. I think we have something to give to West Hartford,” Laurie said. She thinks it’s great to have so many places for women to shop right in the Center, and believes that variety of stores can all complement each other.
Everyone in West Hartford – customers as well as other business owners – has been “very receptive and friendly,” Laurie said.
Hope & Stetson is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays. Laurie said that the website, www.hopeandstetson.com, should launch within the month and will offer e-commerce as well.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!