Jaime Sloan encountered a lot of famous and wealthy people when she worked at the storied Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue in New York City, but it’s the memory of an elderly widow she met there that still brings her to tears.
The woman had planned to visit Tiffany with her husband on their 60th wedding anniversary, but he passed away before they got the chance. So, when Sloan heard that the woman was still planning to visit Tiffany with her daughter that day, she went out of her way to make the visit special, setting up a special breakfast of pastries from a nearby bakery right on one of the jewelry counters.
“To me, doing that type of thing for somebody is really special,” she says. “I would love to be able to do that here.”
By “here” she means Dani Kaye, her brand-new boutique in downtown North Andover, which she opened at the end of August. She calls it a “curated lifestyle store” that not only carries clothing brands like J Brand, Bailey44, Terez, Bella Dahl, and Allen Schwartz, but also lovely items for the home, gifts, and jewelry.
It’s a concept that updates the unwieldy department store premise with something that’s easier to navigate and more tailored for discerning shoppers.
“The concept of the traditional department store is outdated, and it’s overwhelming for people to find what they’re looking for,” Sloan says.
That’s why she’s filled Dani Kaye with hand-picked items that provide an elevated one-stop-shopping experience that’s especially handy for the holidays. It’s a boutique where shoppers can find a stylish outfit for a party and an elegant hostess gift in one trip, without having to maneuver through aisle upon aisle of random items like kitty litter or blenders.
Dani Kaye has the added benefit of Sloan’s good taste and personal touch. She has the sensibilities of an artist—her interests and training include singing, acting, and writing—and serious chops in luxury retail, including experience with Saks Fifth Avenue, David Yurman, Bloomingdale’s, John Hardy, and Tiffany.
That shows in the product selection. There are nature-inspired picture frames from Michael Aram, gold-embellished wine bottle bags, coaster sets, barware and cocktail recipe books, geometric patterned cocktail plates, and just in time for the holidays, throw pillows, blankets, and holiday ornaments, as well as handbags, hats, gloves, and other accessories.
She says the home and gift items felt like a natural addition to the store because it emphasizes the importance of feeling good and creating a “sacred space” at home.
“It’s one thing to look and feel beautiful,” she says. “It’s another to be surrounded with things that bring you pleasure.”
The idea of feeling good extends to the ambiance at Dani Kaye, too. The store is decorated in what Sloan describes as a clean “feminine industrial” style that pays homage to North Andover’s mill town history and her shop’s previous life as a general store. The shop’s premium denim jeans and housewares are displayed on a mantel that was refurbished from a salvage yard in New Hampshire and shelving made from reclaimed boards from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
But Dani Kaye is welcoming beyond the décor. Luxe couches and a coffee table sit upon a plush oriental rug in the center of the shop, and there’s a coffee maker and wine fridge stocked with water and prosecco.
“There has to be that element of hospitality,” Sloan says. “I don’t want anyone to come into my store and not feel that.”
Moreover, Sloan says she loves helping people “find that version of themselves” that they want to put forward, whether it’s through clothing, a thoughtful conversation, or a welcoming cup of coffee. She says making that connection with her customers is always her highest priority.
“We all have moments where we want to feel good and we want to feel special,” she says. “It’s magic when that happens.”
85 Main St., North Andover