|A hand-made, scrap metal wall piece designed by Pete.|
I have finally ventured away from my usual stomping grounds on Newbury Street to visit one of Boston's most historic neighborhoods, Beacon Hill. I love it for its narrow, gas-lit streets, brick sidewalks and, of course, the cute shops. I hope to raise my 7 children here one day - that's not a joke. =) Pete was so genius in his decision to open up shop here! It's such easy shopping sans the hustle and bustle of typical city life.
His store screams cool. Definitely man-friendly but has a handbag wall that would make any women googly eyed! Not to mention his taste in unique fashion for both sexes. At first glance, it's almost hard to believe that a man as mild mannered and simply dressed as Pete could be behind such praiseworthy merchandise. Despite his very reserved persona, Pete wasn't reluctant at all to comment on how he just may be as fashion-forward as most of his past girlfriends. According to him, he's even helped advise them on their wardrobe choices. Lucky gals!
**No Pics Please! Sorry friends, Pete would like to remain a mystery. He's a behind the scenes kind-a guy. **
Gilda: I've seen you a few times before I knew you were a boutique owner, you seem like a jeans and T-shirt (cool T-shirt and nice jeans, of course) kind of guy. I was super surprised to learn that this was your profession? Is this a reaction you've encountered a lot?
Pete: Yes, it is a normal reaction. People are surprised.
|Enter Pete's World!|
Gilda: What did you imagine you'd be doing now while you were studying at UMass?
Pete: When I was in school I thought I would be doing something with computers. Some kind of software engineer or something like that. This idea to become a boutique owner came from part time jobs I had in college. I worked for French Connection, Banana Republic, Diesel, Riccardi, The Tannery...
Gilda: You chose a great location, Why Beacon Hill? Why not Newbury...or..?
Pete: Umm, Newbury Street has changed a lot. It's more like an open-air mall. There are a lot of corporate stores like, Diesel or Lucky Brand. So, it's like, for me with Beacon Hill...I wanted to find something that was a little off the beaten path just to stand out a little bit more than just any other shop that opens up on Newbury Street. Beacon Hill just fit. The neighborhood has been great for me. Charles Street isn't a bad street to come look at a store because there's a ton of things to do. This is just a natural fit.
|All the good reads in the waiting area.|
Gilda: Where does the name "Uncle Pete's" come from? Why Uncle? Why not...Daddy? (haha)
Pete: (ha) Because, um, my niece Sophie who just turned three is the first daughter of us siblings so I treat her like my own and she calls me Uncle Pete all the time, Like, "Uncle Pete, Uncle Pete". So, it was a fun way to name it after somebody but not name it "Sophies".
Gilda: How are the brands picked to be in Uncle Pete's and how exclusive can we expect them to be?
Pete: The brands are pretty exclusive. It's only like one or two stores in boston that carry them. It's either me or Barneys, or me and Riccardi, or just me. Vinna Cava is only sold here or at Barneys. Comme des Garcons is only me and Riccardi. I have relationships with some of the designers. I used to be the buyer at the Tannery for like six years so I built up a lot of friends in the industry so when I said I wanted to quit and move on they all said, "yea we'll go with you".
|Comme des Garcons T-shirts|
Gilda: Describe the Uncle Pete's person/client. When you dreamt up this place in your mind, who did you imagine would shop here?
Pete: I imagined, ...I don't want to seem specific because you'd hate to be specific but, umm, I imagined a young professional couple. That's my ideal customer. A guy and a girl. Maybe they're buying their first place. Their building their lives. Because for me, it's like, the clothes are uh, for people who have grown up a little more. Now, that's who I invisioned! I get a lot of young people who want to dress older and a lot of older people who want to dress younger.
|Happy Socks. Makes your feet smile.|
Gilda: Do boutique owners get first dibs on the merchandise that come in? How hard is it to keep your friends from hounding you for the new shipments?
Pete: Of course! ...But nothing in my own store fits me (lol). If I had a girlfriend, then yea, she would have everything. Yea, tell those Parish Waitresses! (haha) As far as my friends, they are very respectful. No one has ever come to me and asked me straight up. They know me from working around the industry for a long time. There's never been a problem.
|Pete even sells these cute collectibles. They're hand made.|
Gilda: Anything exclusive you'd like my readers to know about?
Pete: We plan a lot for the fall. A lot of events and trunk shows. Fall started shipping July 1st so for me it's kind of like, when it gets nicer, people are going out a lot more and we usually do those things more because people are buying a lot more. It's something to do indoors.
|Edgy jewelry is a must!|
Pete: uhhh...You see, I don't like to really buy trends. I think if you have a store that lives by trends you will always be catching up. You can put all your money into a trend and that trend suddenly dies, you're screwed. So I don't buy trends. I buy things I like? Is that the right word?
Gilda: Well, what about for a women? How do you buy for her?
Pete: I just picture what I would want my girlfriend to dress like. (admits he had a better fashion sense than his last girlfriend and that she loved that she could Take It From Pete! Imagine that.)
|Love that he has a thing for copper! And, how adorable are those polka-dot wallets! Yumm|
Gilda: How often do you receive new items/shipments?
Pete: In the Fall it's almost every week. In the spring it slows down a bit. Spring is different in Boston. There aren't many deliveries in the Spring.
Gilda: I checked out the website (www.unclepetesshop.com). It's so unique. I love the clip of the women changing clothes in front of her mirror! After seeing that and visiting the store, I can tell that you really pay attention to detail. Are you the creative mastermind behind the marketing & aesthetic?
Pete: Yes, we had a party at Alibi - I don't do fashion shows - we took mug shots of my friends in the clothes and put them up and we called it Free Pete. That's our fashion show. We will hardly do a fashion show.
Gilda: I also read the fine print along the bottom of the website clip about the lumpy blue sweater being more than just a lumpy blue sweater. What is the message behind that excerpt? Did you come up with it?
Pete: Yea, it's awesome right? That is my favorite quote from my favorite movie, Devil Wears Prada. That quote just defines everything that people have to think about fashion. It's a great movie. Anne Hathaway basically gets a schpeel about how a color is not just a color.
|Pete chose this shirt and pant combo for outfit #1|
Gilda: Do you plan on expanding the website? Do you plan on opening up in another location?
Pete: Expanding would be down the road. I would go to the suburbs. I've learned a lot of People don't leave Newton to come into the city and shop. It's just like that here. I mean, I would never go to North End.
|Love this piece. Wear it as a dress on nicer days & with tights or jeans on cooler days|
Gilda: What is your personal fashion advice for all of the Fashionistas/Fashionistos out there?
Pete: I believe in comfort. You have to wear clothes that you are comfortable in. It has to fit. When you're comfortable your confident and when you're confident, whatever you put on looks great. A girl could have a white T-shirt on and some jeans but she's comfortable and looks good. Don't be afraid to get anything tailored. Especially for men and button down shirts. You're never going to find the perfect fit. You should buy the shirt and have the tailor take it in where ever they need to. Fifteen bucks and you can get a good tailor to alter it for you.
|This dress is also a comfortable summer dress but the color is also perfect for the Fall!|
Miranda Priestly: [Miranda and some assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy sniggers because she thinks they look exactly the same] Something funny?
Andy Sachs: No. No, no. Nothing's... You know, it's just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. You know, I'm still learning about all this stuff and, uh...
Miranda Priestly: 'This... stuff'? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.