Love for Humanity

Last week, I visited one of my favorite hidden gems: Humanity Boutique in Lowell. My friend (and, you’ll notice, occasional photographer) Katie grew up in the next town over, so she knew about the cute shop long before I did. She brought me with her to scope it out one day, and I immediately loved the owner, Ani.

Ani is an adorable, welcoming presence with the perfect balance of kindness and quirk. She has worked tirelessly over the years to make her dream of owning her own store come true, and she never hesitates to offer words of encouragement for those following their own.

“I am inspired by the beauty of everyday life, places I travel, and people I meet. [I choose] style over fashion. I love celebrating womanhood and our own individuality. Being able to help others build confidence and be comfortable in their own skin is why Humanity Boutique exists. This is why I exist; I do what I love and I love what I do.” – AV

After months of struggling to get our schedules to match up, Ani and I finally got together at Humanity to play dress up! She was my photographer for the afternoon while I modeled some of my favorite merchandise in the store. Needless to say, it was my dream afternoon. At one point I said, “I wish I could do this every day.” Ani replied, “Don’t you?” Good point, Ani!

After managing the store since 2012 and taking ownership of the boutique in May 2014, Ani gave the store a facelift last spring. She added so many unique touches in every nook and cranny – there’s always a different detail to notice! Plus, Humanity Boutique has some great initials! 😉 In the photos above, you can see some of my favorite sections of the store – including the plush dressing room area where your fashion wing-woman can wait for you and give her opinions. Or, you can grab a seat and chat it up with Ani herself, who is always eager to learn about every new customer. By the end of your visit, you’ll have a new friend – and will probably end up with a new contact in your phone!

LOOK #1

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LOOK #2

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LOOK #3

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LOOK #4

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Thank you to Ani for letting me play dress up with all of these fabulous clothes. They are all available at Humanity on Merrimack Street in Lowell – and they are all affordable! Yes, even that amazing red bag is for sale. (The shoes are my own though. Back off.)

Next time you need a cute outfit on a budget, want to get out of your usual shopping routine, or just want to gab with an inspiring fashionista, head into Humanity – and tell Ani I sent you! ❤

For more photos from our fun shoot, follow Humanity (@humanitystyle) and visit http://www.humanitystyle.com!

Colorfully Yours,

Haley

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The Long and Skort of It

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My job consists of helping people pick out clothes all day. It’s safe to say that by the end of my shift I am just about crawling out of my skin with the need to go shopping myself. An alcoholic would probably know better than to work in a bar, but here I am trying to make a career out of my addiction.

So Friday after work, I decided to trek to Nordstrom Rack in Burlington just to ‘take a peek.’ Well, that peek turned into a two hour frenzy. I know this sounds absolutely insane, but sometimes I have an out of body experience while shopping. Like a person with a full time job and lots of money has possessed me. I think the fitting room attendant wanted to murder me by the end of my shopping spree. I eventually snapped out of La La Land (sort of) and discarded the 270 million items I was holding. I got my loot down to two pairs of shoes, one blazer, and one skort.

I have this unwritten rule that if a rack is annoyingly overstuffed and I’m losing patience, I only look at the items in bright colors or cool patterns. It’s like “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” but for clothes. That’s how I found this skort – although it’s black and white, the palm print caught my eye. I’m sure someone out there will roll her eyes when I say it’s Michael Kors, but if I like something, I don’t care if the brand is “in” and you shouldn’t either! Heck, one of my favorite workout outfits is from Walmart. No shame in my game.

I wanted to get some shots of the skort since I don’t have a social life to show it off during, and Katie is leaving her very-short-lived blog photographer position to go back to Florida. We had our final lunch date at Life Alive (obviously) and snapped some photos in the streets of downtown Lowell. I’m so cultured now.

I styled the skort with my gladiator sandals that garner me equal parts compliments and dirty looks and a top from Marshall’s that has had the tags on in my closet for three years. I told my mom I’d get around to it eventually! I swapped my extremely heavy Kate Spade purse for Katie’s adorable Alaina Marie clutch. Alaina is a Maine based designer whose bags are now sold by J.Crew!

To make a long story skort (still long, sorry) the best type of buy is a bargain. Thanks for putting up with me, Nordstrom Rack!