Posted on November 12 2015
Hey Honeys! Mandie Bee, here. This is the first of soon-to-be many posts about our featured retailers!
I like to call it, the Shop Spotlight.
Online shopping may not be for everyone, so why not stop in to a local spot and try something on? Brick and Mortar shops are a unique way to socialize and build relationships with people in your community. If you're interested a unique selection of clothes and WAY better personalized service than you would ever find in a big box store, shop small and shop local! You'd be amazed at what you'll find and who you may meet....
Heart of Haute supplies shops all around the world with our American made garments and in an effort to keep our scene alive and friendly-made fashion in mind, we provide you with some fun features on our retailers!
Owners, Julie Ann and Andrew, are two of the coolest cats and we have been so lucky to work with them!
To share with our community and alert those that may be passing through Tonawanda, NY, be sure to visit Cats Like Us and let them know we sent ya!
*Where are you located?*
67 Main Street, Tonawanda, NY 14150 (Tonawanda is a suburb of Buffalo, about 20 minutes North.)
*Hours of Operation:*
Wed, Fri, & Sat 11-6 and Thurs 11-8 (We are open 12-5 Sundays in December)
*When did you open Cats Like Us?*
October 1, 2009
*What inspired you to open a retro-themed clothing shop?*
Andrew and I are born and raised in Western New York. I have a business background and he has a web/design background, and we share a great love for everything mid-century modern. We love the, fashion, design, and music from the 1940's through the 60's. But since we are actually children of the 80's, we experienced the 50's as a wave of revivals in movies, TV, and music. From Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Grease in the '70s, to The Stray Cats in the 80's, to Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and swing dance in the '90s--we have always had a great love of retro. After we finally made it to Viva Las Vegas in 2009 (and having a blast) on the ride home we started talking about opening our own store. Between Julie Ann's business education and retail experience, and my design and web experience, we covered almost all the bases we needed to get started.
The boutique was born of the desire to “do a store right”. Really it's a simple formula: attractive store, great merchandise and even better service – it's a winning combination. The clothing is a hand-picked collection of retro and vintage-inspired brands. We like classic styles with a bit of an edge. Retro for the everyday girl, and Heart of Haute is exactly that!
*What do you love most about operating your store?*
The people I meet whether through the store-front or as vendors. Many of our customers have turned into best friends. Everyone works well together and supports each other.
*What do you love most about Tonawanda?*
We are an up and coming neighborhood that you can take a day trip to. Our location has a nice "Main Street USA" feel with lots of shops and restaurant. Andrew actually wrote a blog about it a few years ago (http://catslikeus.com/blogs/
*Does your shop do anything special to participate in the local community?*
Yes, every month we have in in-store event that features a local artisan with a retro theme. It could be an artist selling universal monster prints, repro chalkware, or kitchen towels, a pinup hair and makeup demo, or dress seminar -- and that's only the beginning.
We are also strong supporters of the SPCA Serving Western New York. Every spring we collect food and items from their Wish List and, in exchange, we give our customers store discounts.
This year we are the Shop Small ambassadors for Tonawanda, to help promote the area on Small Business Saturday, November 28. It's fun to rally nearby places and show outsiders what a great hidden gem Tonawanda is!
Last but not least, we are organizing the 2nd annual Christmas in the City Swing Dance, a free dance with lesson included. Last year's dance was such a success, we were delighted to be asked to have another one this year.
So you can imagine there's always something going on!
*At what events might we find Cats Like Us vending?*
In the past we have vended at local burlesque shows, rockabilly concerts, and festivals. Since we run a tight ship, staffing can be hard. We limit ourselves to places nearby and only take select items.
*Is there anything your brick and mortar shop offers that the online shop does not?*
Our online inventory is the same as the brick and mortar.
We we offer friendly, personalized service – which is very retro! We pride ourselves in making sure you look great in our clothes--so we tell you when an items looks good, AND when it doesn't. After all, every customer is our brand ambassador, so we want you to look your best!
We bring varied and wonderful artisans and feature related businesses in our store monthly.
*Anything else you'd like to share?*
We have an updated website that everyone should check out, and always have something special for our newsletter subscribers.You can sign up here: http://catslikeus.com/
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