This Beautiful Dust
I’m constantly finding ways to be inspired. I understand to do what you love, you have to be surrounded by things that move you.
That’s why once a month, I will try to feature a dreamer who was brave enough to pursue their passion to inspire you to do the same. We can all agree, the journey of doing so is tough. We know that anything worth having comes with a cost. But this is our life we our talking about, so isn’t the pursuit worth it?!
This month’s feature is Linda Coleman, owner of super chic boutique-cafe, This Beautiful Dust in Groton, MA, a small rural town northwest of Boston.
Where did the name, “This Beautiful Dust,” come from?
Everything in reality is just dust, but it’s up to us to find its beauty. Artisans take materials and create beautiful art out of it. So it’s a play on fashion as art, and finding the beauty in materials rather than being overcome by them. So even though material things are as simple as dust, they are also as complex as beauty. All our pieces in the shop I imagine myself gesturing to, and saying, “this beautiful dust”. It’s a gesture to see it as artisans, using their gifts for the benefit of others.
How did you get into fashion? How did you end up owning your own boutique?
I started working in retail when I was 18 because it seemed interesting, and I loved clothes. I also had to pay for college. I fell in love with every aspect of it, and climbed the retail ladder. I moved up within stores, and then up store to store. The higher end I went, the more problems the women seemed to have. I wanted to do more than just dress people, so I started my own personal styling business to really help counsel women within the realm of fashion (I was going to school for psychology). It evolved into more than just the customer, and I realized the global impact fashion had. The reason for starting my own boutique, was so women had a friendly, honest place to shop, that supported fashion as art, and creativity, while making a positive impact on the world. Where they can feel comfortable stretching their fashion identity and breathing life into their own identity; a place for encouragement and having fun with what others have created.
You have so much intention behind the clothing you sell. Can you talk a little about that?
I choose pieces from designers that are passionate about fashion and style as well as their global impact. I also only choose designers that I work well with and can build relationships with. I create a style story for every roll-out. All pieces have to be cohesive. I want to stretch people a little (or a lot) out of their comfort zones with unique designs and encourage them to dress how they want regardless of their living in a small farm town. If you want to look city-like, here’s your permission. I choose my boutique merchandise based on style, quality, and responsibility (they all have to align with my values personally). I choose pieces that I’m head-over-heels in love with, because they are special and I feel that will translate to the customer.
What are some of your challenges with having your own boutique?
Creating an awareness of why we sell what we sell slow-fashion, artistic fashion, ethical standards. It’s different than a lot of shops around and I don’t think customers are expecting it.
It had been a challenge to find the right pieces based on what I think customers want vs. what I am passionate about (it goes better when it’s what I’m passionate about!). Also trying to keep up with logistics can be a challenge.
Where do you see “This Beautiful Dust” in the future?
I see the boutique really catching on within a few years. I see it becoming larger and more pronounced. A place where customers locally and those traveling can count on for unique finds. A place…people seek out because of its ethics, quality, and style. I think it can become a staple in our town that’s becoming a destination spot.
If you can give one piece of advice to someone who is following their dreams, what would it be?
If you’re thinking about going for your dream, just try it. You may fail and that’s okay. Try or you may regret not (trying). I didn’t want to get to the end of my life regretting not going for it. We get one life and we don’t know how long it is. Josiah and I were in a position where we literally had nothing to lose since we, at that time, had very little. We both were out of work and before going back to job hunting we thought “if we have nothing to lose, why not try!” We struggled for a good amount of time but we kept pushing. So (my) advice would be, just try and push. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people that support you. (And definitely let go of those that don’t!) Listen to your gut. I think we were all made for a purpose and if you have a dream, that’s probably your purpose.
This Beautiful Dust is located within Salt&Light Bistro in Groton, MA. Get a taste and visit their website at https://saltandlight.cafe/.