ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 3 - Summer

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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LEFT: Flaherty's favorite styles this summer include high-low dresses and sheer blouses. BELOW: Stone Rose button-downs feature patterns on the collar and cuffs. One of her favorite labels is SeaLove Swimwear, created by Newport native Ashley Chase. The suits, which are designed on the Vineyard, are handcrafted in Bali with bright, island-inspired colors and prints. Island and beach life were a big motivating factor for Flaherty to open her business close to her hometown. "I've always lived within walking distance of the ocean, and that is my favorite thing," she says. "But as far as trendy shopping goes, it's so limited here." Flaherty knew Hyannis in particular was the hub for her demographic. "This is where all the young, stylish people are," she says, "so there's a lot of draw." The seed of the idea for Sass came while Flaherty was working in Boston for a few unfulfilling years selling payroll services. She engaged with many small-business owners who had quit their former jobs to pursue careers they loved. "I [watched] all these people doing their dream, being in their business," she relates. "That's where I got the drive to not work for 'the man,' [but to] —SARAH FLAHERTY work for myself and open a boutique." The Cape was a natural fit. "I was so confident that there was nothing else like [Sass]; I filled a completely empty void," Flaherty says of the area's sartorial scene, which she characterizes as previously having a mix of T-shirt purveyors, shops catering to the retired demographic, and not much else. However, it wasn't as simple as finding a vacant storefront on Main Street and hanging her sign outside. "I worked as a manager for two years at Trader Ed's [in Hyannis], pretty much seven days a week, working from 11 AM until 2 AM," Flaherty says. "I saved every penny and opened the store with one hundred percent cash—no loans. Tip money is what it took." The boutique, which is named for Flaherty's college moniker of "Sassy Sarah," was, as she hoped, a huge hit. Customers have flocked to stock up PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN CUTRONA "I was confident that there was nothing else like Sass. I filled a void." on jeans from Miss Me and Anoname, while men favor the Stone Rose button-downs, which feature funky patterns on the cuffs and collars. "We have some men who buy two of each style, one for their houses here and one for Florida," Flaherty says. Anticipating the crush of summer crowds, Flaherty's been filling her racks with what she forecasts will be the biggest trends for the warmer months. Her favorite styles are high-low dresses and skirts (short in the front and longer in back), mini peplum skirts, and sheer blouses. Her ideal client is someone who is willing to take a sartorial risk. "[She's] a fashion-forward girl White bandage who isn't shy about something that's dress, Wow completely different," the store Couture ($69). owner says. But for those customers who may guess a peplum is a type of tropical fruit rather than a fashion term, Flaherty and her team are there to offer expert advice. Everyone Spike hoop she hires serves double duty as earrings, The Beaded both a salesperson and a stylist. "I Wire ($32). look [to hire] people who know how to create an entire outfit and aren't scared to think out of the box," she says. And Flaherty's hopeful she can expand her influence outside of the Cape. "I'd love to branch out," she says. "My dream would be a Sass on Newbury." 590 Main St., Hyannis, 508-534-9747; BC BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 076-077_BC_SS_StyleSetter_SUM13.indd 77 77 6/7/13 1:08 PM

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