In an old mill building on High Street, the local designer brings her flair and craftsmanship to a new store full of unique clothing, gifts, and home goods.
SPONSORED CONTENT WITH DARBY SCOTT
When North Andover-based designer Darby Scott was living and working in Manhattan during the ‘90s and early 2000s, she traveled frequently to Italy for business. It was there, in countryside towns on the outskirts of Milan, that she discovered the lifestyle she wanted.
Factories or studios were often very close, if not next door, to people’s homes. “I would see the kids get off the bus and come into the studio where we were working with their parents and give them kisses, and they would go to the house right next door and grandma would be cooking dinner,” says Scott, “and I thought, this quality of life is so wonderful.”
When Scott moved to the North Shore after many years of living in New York, she found this type of life in the Andovers, where she could send her kids off to school in Andover and then head over to her North Andover studio with her dog. The quick fifteen-minute commute beats years of Manhattan’s traffic.
And now that studio space, located in an old industrial textile mill with soaring thirty-foot ceilings, is becoming a concept store called Darby Scott, carrying exclusive Darby Scott designs like clothing, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and travel goods, and men’s leather goods along with home goods, gifts, and apothecary products, just in time for the holiday season.
The shop opens this Saturday, December 3, and will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays throughout the month, along with Monday and Tuesday on the week before Christmas for last-minute shoppers. All other weeks, Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays are by appointment only. About 85% of the shop’s selection of highly curated goods are Darby Scott designs that can’t be found anywhere else—many new items aren’t even on her website.
Scott emphasizes the originality of every piece you’ll find in her store. Between clothing, handbags, men’s leather goods, jewelry, glassware, blankets, pillows, engagement gifts, cosmetics, barware, apothecary, and art, “we really feel like we have something for everyone,” says Scott. “We want it to be exciting when you walk through the doors, to look like nothing you’ve ever seen.”
The store is a haven for unique holiday presents, from hostess gifts to stocking stuffers. The products come in a wide range of prices, so there’s something for every budget. And while the items feel festive, says Scott, they’re still seasonless. “I really believe in gifting someone something that’s of high quality and that they’ll cherish for many years to come.”
The quality of Scott’s goods is what sets her apart—when designing clothing she uses materials such as wool, silks, and taffeta and adds couture-like finishes to garments with silk linings and silk piping. “I’m very proud when people say, ‘I have this dress of yours that I continue to wear over and over,’” says Scott.
She’s also bringing in works from local artists like Jill Goldman Callahan, who creates abstract and mystical paintings with handmade pigments, and collaborating with local designers like Cape Ann-based James McLeod of Cleod Glassworks who creates hand blown glass homegoods and lighting. Recently, Scott and McLeod have co-branded a new collection of glassware and tabletop goods exclusive to Darby Scott.
When she’s not working with Massachusetts-based designers and artists, Scott prioritizes working with American-made and other women-owned brands whenever possible. For perfect holiday gifts, she’s bringing in handmade wooden bar sets and cheese servers by Kelly Roley, a woodworker based in Nashville who shares Scott’s passion for traditional craftsmanship, natural materials, and making goods that will last a lifetime. “We’re telling people to skip the mall, shop the mill!” she laughs.
Her inspiration for the concept store comes from a spot in an industrial area of Milan called 10 Corso Como. This joint shop, restaurant, and art gallery is a destination all of its own, says Scott, and its Instagram calls it a “union of culture and commerce.” Most importantly, they carry all original, one-of-a-kind items.
Like 10 Corso Como, Darby Scott is located on the outskirts of a downtown area (with designated parking). It’s only a five-minute walk from North Andover’s High Street spots like Jaime’s Restaurant, Tavern on High, Jade, Good Day Cafe, and the newly built Avalon apartments, and a ten-minute walk from Main Street’s post office and other bustling shops.
“We hope that once you come inside, you’ll want to spend some time here because there’s so much to look at,” says Scott.
This month, the store will host special men’s and women’s shopping nights on Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. Anyone’s welcome either night, says Scott, but each evening will have a different emphasis—December 8 will be a women’s shopping night, and on the 15th, store associates will help men shop for their spouses.
Other events throughout December include artist receptions and talks by Jill Goldman Callahan and James McLeod on Saturdays the 10th and 17th from 2 to 4 p.m.
Scott wants the store to become a welcoming place, a destination to come and congregate with friends in addition to shopping. After ten years of living and working in New England, and focusing her attention on the wholesale and e-commerce business, Scott is keen to create a unique and personal shopping experience in the Andovers. She is creating a retail location that allows for people to touch and feel her products and showcases original items and the talents of other local artists, writers and creators.
After the rush of the holiday season, Darby Scott will settle into a regular Wednesday through Saturday schedule, plus by appointment only on Mondays and Tuesdays. Keep an eye out for special shopping events focused around key holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.
For more information, visit darbyscottofficial.com.