Clothing designer Jennifer Angerame has been a local favorite for years, running her SouthernYankee monogramming and hand-made children’s clothing business online and at local gift shows and stores around Wilton. After 18 years, she figured now was as good a time as any to test the waters by opening up her own brick-and-mortar, pop-up location.
“I’m nervous. I’m excited. I’ve always wanted a shop since I was a little girl. Here I am, a couple years later,” she laughs.
The first official day for the Southern Yankee pop-up shop was yesterday, Monday, Oct. 16, and Angerame will be open for business for the next eight weeks, through Dec. 15, which is perfect for holiday season shoppers. Perhaps the best harbinger for good things to come, Angerame made her very first sale before 11 a.m..
“The woman bought a baby gift and she brought in an apron to be monogrammed,” Angerame says excitedly. That’s another benefit she offers–not only does Angerame have a wide variety of items you can purchase and have monogrammed in one fell swoop, she also will monogram things that customers purchase elsewhere and bring in for customizing. “Bring me your fleece, your blanket, your apron, towels, whatever!”
Of course, there are plenty of items Southern Yankee stocks that come ready with either a classic or fun monogram option–think towels monogrammed with ‘06897’ motifs for different holidays or themes, like a pumpkin, Christmas wreath, Star of David or Peace sign in place of the 0. There are baby onesies with the Wilton ‘W’ logo that reads, “Future Warrior.” There are grab-and-go hostess and birthday gifts and plenty of other creative items to be personalized too–bags, totes, Halloween bags, backpacks, baby items, plush throw blankets, and more. As always, there are SouthernYankee originals, adorable children’s clothes embellished with vintage linens.
Angerame grew up making a lot of her own clothes, going on to study fashion design and eventually start a career in the fashion industry, working for Perry Ellis Menswear. She started SouthernYankee before her eldest of three kids, now a high school junior, was born. Running a home-based business as a working mom has been a fun juggle, but now with all three in school and with lots of activities, the idea of opening a store just seemed right.
There was also some spontaneity to the decision, she says. “I was literally driving up the road one day a month ago, and just thought, ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to do a pop-up!’ But I didn’t know where,” she laughs.
Where turns out to be a very prime location–right on Rte. 7 at 237 Danbury Rd., where there’s great parking and visibility. She’s right next door to her friend Megan Abrahamsen, who owns Blue Star Bazaar, one of the stores that has supported Angerame in the past by carrying her items. “It’s a perfect spot,” Angerame says.
The possibility does exist that Angerame will keep the store longer than just the eight weeks, depending on how it goes. And she’s excited to be one of the group of local store owners that she has forged relationships with to promote shopping local and shopping Wilton, including Blue Star Bazaar’s Abrahamsen, and The Painted Cookie‘s Susan Schmitt, Nod Hill Soap‘s Catherine Romer, among others.
“You can get a lot here, don’t just go online. You can’t get everything, but keep supporting these small businesses that are making a difference. Something special, unique, that you can’t find elsewhere,” Angerame says, hinting that there may be some great co-promotions with her fellow small business owners for the holidays.
For the time being, Angerame will be in the store Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and by appointment. “I’m happy to meet anyone here, any time.” To make an appointment outside of her regular hours, customers can email Angerame or call her at 203.253.9813. They can also contact her through the Monogramming by SouthernYankee Facebook page, where she’ll also post any schedule changes.