A strong passions for analytics might not be a quality you expect from the owner of two popular women’s boutiques, but that’s part of what got Tracy Brent interested in owning her own shop.
While working in a career buying and wholesaling in Manhattan, Brent realized she had a love for the analytical side of the business. She enjoyed following how numbers influence the buying decisions. “You really have to look at your numbers, and that part really challenges the mind and I find it very stimulating,” Brent told me. At the same time, she told me she enjoyed working directly with customers, getting to know them personally, and guiding them on styles and what to wear.
So, when Brent bought a historic home in downtown Guilford, once home to the Guilford Forge, she decided to start Tracy Brent Collections. Walking into the historic 1774 house feels like walking through the front door of someone’s beloved family home. The entryway brings you into a foyer flanked by two rooms to the left and right, each with racks lined with premier casual, business, and cocktail attire. The home’s old wooden beams and low ceilings immediately give you a feeling of comfort and that’s exactly what Brent had in mind when creating the space. “The fact that we’re inside a home gives the feeling that you’re in your girlfriend’s dressing room,” Brent commented, explaining that the multi-room layout inspires a feeling of trust in shoppers.
This trust combined with a well-refined taste for style has grown a customer base that was wanting even more from Brent. So, to fill that void, Brent opened Tracy 2 in 2015, designed for the more casual part of life. Just down the street from Tracy Brent Collections, Tracy 2 focuses on a more relaxed style. There you can find items like denim, t-shirts, and casual wear.
When you find yourself at Tracy Brent Collection or Tracy 2, I recommend you check out something cashmere. As Brent describes on her “Tracy’s Tips and Trends” – “warm, weightless, wonderful cashmere affords you practicality, luxury, and effortless style.” Both boutiques have a lot to offer from classic cashmere sweaters to fur-trimmed cashmere coats.
Another item to keep a lookout for during the upcoming holiday season is velvet. “Velvet is really big this year,” Brent explained, describing how the reintroduction of crushed velvet makes it an extremely versatile fabric. You could opt for velvet in accessories like one of the velvet embroidered scarves hanging in the center room of Tracy Brent Collection, or go for head-to-toe velvet in a crushed velvet dress from Tracy 2. “It’s all about your interpretation,” Brent advised, “you can dress it way up or dress it way down.”
Another item I recommend you keep your eyes open this time of year is for is knits and Tracy 2 has a great assortment. From chunky sweaters to stylishly cut cashmere, it is a one-stop-shop. If you’re looking for the perfect winter cardigan for you or a gift, check out the Line & Dot Manette cardigan. This oversized style and nubby knit makes it a staple piece for the upcoming season.