August 16, 2022 By Carol Britton Meyer
Bobbles & Lace -- a unique women's boutique offering a wide variety of high-fashion clothing, shoes, and accessories at an affordable price -- will open its doors at 84 North St. in downtown Hingham this weekend. This is the ninth Bobbles & Lace location in New England and the first on the South Shore.
The community is invited to the grand opening this Saturday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring a preview of the shop's many eclectic offerings, music, and a festive time for all who attend.
Quincy resident Megan Cheek -- the owner of the first Bobbles & Lace franchise location -- is excited to be opening in downtown Hingham since she has worked in town over the years and has often dined, shopped, and strolled in the area with her family.
Raised in a small New Hampshire town, Cheek moved to Orange County, Calif., before returning back east 10 years ago to find her dream beach house in Houghs Neck with her husband and two daughters. Now she is happy to be opening Bobbles & Lace in another of her favorite spots.
Cheek explained what makes Bobbles & Lace unique. "Shoppers will find things here that they can't find anywhere else -- one-of-a-kind, limited-stock clothing and other items," she told the Hingham Anchor. "This is more of a personal styling studio than a retail space because our customers can sit down and relax and know that they will be completely taken care of -- outfitted from head to toe through a personalized shopping experience" for whatever occasion they are planning to attend, whether a bridal shower, a wedding, party, a night on the town, or other special event.
The wide variety of clothing choices ranges from casual wear to event dresses -- and everything in-between. There's also an entire wall of shoes and a large selection of accessories.
The space, which once housed Fitness Together and is located next to Irish Eyes Photography, has been completely "revamped," according to Cheek -- raised ceilings, all-new lighting, a fresh coat of "light and bright" paint, and custom clothing racks and changing rooms made in England from industrial piping and painted gold.
"I've worked in Hingham for many years, as a nanny with multiple families, a preschool teacher at Sandcastles, and a stylist at Chel Bella," she said. "I've always dreamed of having a little beach boutique similar to the ones in Southern California, where I once lived. Hingham's small shops have given me a piece of that culture -- close to the ocean with everything within walking distance."
Cheek has been in the fashion industry for most of her adult life. Her professional experience has spanned from smaller boutiques to Nordstrom and LF Stores, doing everything from managing, buying, and styling to modeling before starting her own Bobbles & Lace in Hingham.
Cheek was already familiar with the Newburyport and Portsmouth, NH Bobbles & Lace shops when during the pandemic, she offered virtual styling services, often pointing customers to Bobbles & Lace's clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Because she spends as much time in Hingham as possible, Cheek jumped at the chance to own a franchise when the opportunity arose and specifically requested a South Shore location. "Hingham seemed like the perfect place," she said. The rest came about naturally, with the final touches in the works for Saturday's grand opening.
"I always wanted to own my own shop, so this really expands my horizons," she said. Before I was able to get this franchise, I was like an artist without enough paints to work with. Now I have the whole palette, and it's so much fun seeing it all come to life."
Before opening Bobbles & Lace, Cheek worked on designing and styling her own reworked vintage line of clothing called Meadow. She has always been drawn to fashion culture and says that being a stylist and designer "is in her soul."
The Hingham Bobbles & Lace offers something for everyone. For instance, "If a mother and daughter come in together -- with different body types and styles -- they will both leave very happy and fashionable," Cheek said. "They will be dressed according to their best selves and leave here feeling good."
The ultimate goal, she said, is to cater to the needs and desires of the Hingham community. "This will be a growing process," she said.
Bobbles &L, LLC owner Lindsay Rando and her Aunt, Valerie White, started Bobbles & Lace 15 years ago in 2008 in Marblehead, Mass., and the business continued to grow.
Prior to that venture, her aunt started out selling jewelry on Newbury Street on a pushcart around the same time Lindsay moved to Los Angeles after college. She modeled there, and while she loved the fashion industry, Lindsay didn't like her role in it.
Inspired by her aunt, Lindsay withdrew $70 from her bank account and purchased pieces from the fashion district to sell on a bar cart from Sears and headed to downtown Los Angeles to sell her wares to people during their lunch breaks. By 1 p.m., she had sold all of her goods.
Lindsay continued doing what she loved for two years and then made her way back to New England, joining forces with her aunt to open the first Bobbles & Lace -- "bobbles" representing Valerie's jewelry, and "lace," Lindsay and the clothing she was selling.
This was true to her grandmother's wise words: “Find what you love to do, and money will follow."
The Marblehead shop was an instant success, selling out of every piece of merchandise the first week it opened. More shops followed over the years, and although Valerie has since retired, the business continues to be a huge success.
Cheek is pleased to be opening the ninth shop in Hingham this weekend, with more locations elsewhere planned at a future date.
"Megan opened her store under the mentorship of the Bobbles & Lace Franchise Team. It's an easy process," Lindsay explained. "The Hingham space is really designed as a collaboration of the Bobbles vision and Megan’s aesthetic."
Besides Hingham, Marblehead, Newburyport, and Portsmouth, NH, other Bobbles & Lace locations include Andover, Newbury Street, Newport, RI, Portland, ME, and Westport, CT.