While out in the Berkshires this weekend, I had a lot of time to think because, gosh, it takes nearly three hours to get out there from Boston. I thought about how Williamstown, Massachusetts – my destination and a paradise-like country nook I called home in the late 1990s – was the perfect blend of rustic farm pastures, local abundance and a touch of chic due to the influx of city folk who settle on this bucolic village for relaxation and a bit of theater each summer.
Williamstown plays host to the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival, a summer showcase that’s become a silent powerhouse in contemporary theatre, featuring some of the best talent in the business. I stood in line in front of some of that talent, a very famous actress, at the local coffee shop Tunnel City Coffee yesterday. I think she was annoyed by my gawking at the pretty pastries in the bakery case for a bit too long. Sorry, famous actress who’s married to an even more famous movie director. It was just all so pretty!
The city folk, including those who have finally left the skyscrapers to settle in the town full-time, add a touch of modernity to this otherwise crafty college town. I like to think that Williamstown is a little bit country and a little bit fancy which makes for an exciting summer vacation destination. I can go from eating at one of the best restaurants in New England to visiting with a herd of alpaca during a maple syrup tasting. (More on that tasting and those beautiful animals soon.)
The “little bit country and a little bit fancy” vibe totally plays into the Eat Boutique brand, which I’ve been thinking about a lot. I started Eat Boutique as a food blog to capture my food exploits inspired by both city and country life. The blog is now a food business focused on sourcing local, pure and comforting handmade food (because food enthusiasts need good food to send to the people they love) and we’re finally releasing our very first apron, which I couldn’t be more excited about. It totally sums up our brand in one look.
The new apron is made of an all natural cotton and hemp blend that’s both very functional and rugged but almost linen in feel. The color is kraft, of course, and the Eat Boutique logo is printed in black. On a glance, the apron is rustic, but when you get a glimpse of the logo, which is the exact same logo from this site, it turns quite modern. Of course, I’m debating whether the logo should be bold, front and center on the chest plate of the apron, or sweet and quiet on the hem of the pocket. Help me, Rhonda: Which do you prefer?
What makes me the proudest (sniff, sniff) is the method in which these aprons were made. I certainly could have sourced them online from some big manufacturer overseas but that’s kind of anti-Maggie and definitely anti-Eat Boutique. Instead, I reached out to a dear friend who’s a seamstress. Carrie, from Carrie Sew Fancy, helped me source the fabric, design the apron and made them by hand, totally from an idea in our heads. Thank you, Carrie!
The straps are adjustable, the pockets are flat but deep and there’s the sweetest loop for a dish towel to hang by your side, because I think we need more dish towel loops in this world. The apron will be on sale in the store starting later this week. You know, right after you all tell me whether the logo should be big and center or small and off to the side. This brand needs your wise opinion, so please leave a note in the comments.
Speaking of brands, I’ll be moderating a panel on “How to Market your Blog and Turn it into a Brand/Business” at Boston’s TECHmunch conference next weekend. If you’re there, please say hello, okay?
All photos styled and taken by Maggie Battista, with some help from my friends/models Genevieve Sandifer, Elle Rapport and Dawn Baker – thank you, ladies!
Eat Boutique is an online magazine + market for food enthusiasts to celebrate the best pure, local + comforting handmade foods. We call it: food that hugs you back. Looking for the perfect gift? Eat Boutique sells gift boxes filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send food that hugs you back today.