PITTSFIELD, Mass. — North Street just a got a lot sexier.
This week Pittsfield Bra and Girl opened its sleek black doors to the city. So far, said co-owner April Burch, the seduction of lace, candles and business sense is working.
“The city is totally supportive,” she said. "Pittsfield is coming alive. It’s up to the people and the city to nurture that. It’s been nothing but smooth sailing for us.”
Burch attributes much of that smooth sailing to George Whaling, president of Whaling Properties, who had the 1,100-square-foot store ready to go in six weeks.
The 1,100-square-foot retail space is now home to lingerie and lace.
"I love that Whaling Properties allows each tenant to be as creative as we want,” she said. “Each space is different; these are not cookie-cutter retailers. There’s going to be quite a concentration of businesses here.”
Pittsfield Bra and Girl is anything but ordinary. Its high ceilings and exposed piping give it a loft feel. Flesh-toned walls are accented by vintage marble top window sills and contemporary crystal chandeliers. And the detail does not stop there. Three spacious, silk-curtained dressing rooms in the back come complete with stage lighting that emanates up from the floor.
"Our clients specifically requested the lighting for a more flattering look," Burch said. "We want people to know that this is not just a store, it's a service if the women in the area come in and let us do what we do."
Burch, and her co-owner (and husband) Daniel Alden are experts at what their clients want. They have been immersed in the thick and thin of the lingerie business with Great Barrington Bra and Girl, which opened on Railroad Street 16 months ago. While the merchandise is very straightforward, Burch said that the feel of each location is unique.
“We already know that it’s a different feel in Pittsfield,” she said. "The clientele is much more diverse, the traffic is really different. There’s a lot more pedestrian traffic. It’s much more of a corporate type of environment.”
Burch and Alden have prepared for the nuanced changes by ordering slightly different merchandise for their Pittsfield location.
"The two things we've anticipated are more moms, for sure. So we've got a collection of nursing bras at the ready," she said. "And a younger crowd. We've got sports bras here and different sizing to accommodate that. Plus there are a lot of professional women here so we have more shape wear and hosiery."
The surprise in all of this, according to Burch, is the generous financial support that the store has received, not only from Legacy Bank but also from the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp., which provides grants for specialized technical assistance to small businesses in the area. This along with the support of other Crawford Square businesses has given Burch cause to be excited and hopeful for the future of PB&G.
"This is our baby," she said. "We want it to grow and do well and we want women to be comfortable here, always."
Pittsfield Bra and Girl is hosting its grand-opening Salon Prive on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. with live music by the Bra*Stars, free goodie bags, erotic poetry readings and a live fashion show with the ladies of the Sugar Shack Burlesque.