Every other Thursday, Stephanie Osei asks employees and employers at our favorite shops around the world what their most cherished in-store item is for our column Staff Affections. This week, she caught up with founder and Creative Director Frank "The Butcher" Rivera of the Boston-based online store Boylston Trading Co. about their varsity jacket collaboration with Mitchell & Ness.
Tell us about collaborating with Mitchell & Ness Our project with Mitchell & Ness, which is exclusive to Boylston Trading Co., was a way to pay homage to our city without overtly putting “Boston” on blast. Boylston Trading Co. is named after the street our office is on—which is named after the 1800s businessman & entrepreneur Ward Nicolas Boylston. The “Frog Lane” branding is inspired by the previous name of Boylston Street and “Coin & Leaf” represents the trading aspect in our name. Partnering with a company with a tremendous heritage like Mitchell & Ness was only right.
Why a varsity jacket? A varsity jacket, when done right, will be worn forever. This jacket has a more contemporary fit, as opposed to a more traditional athletic cut, and that works well with our product mix.
You tell the backstory for every item you sell on your site. Why? All our products share one story—quality. Before anything is bought or sold we make sure that it is something our customer can wear for a very long time. There is a distinction between fashion and style—we are not chasing trend, we are selling great product. And great companies usually have an interesting story and perspective. That is an additional bonus that we try to share with our customers, so that it’s more than just a retail exchange.
When did Boylston Trading Co. get its start? We had been in development for a year and launched this past November.
The site mixes editorial and retail really well. We felt it was important to develop a language and tone for the site. Our editorials are written to be insightful and easy to read. Like a smart buddy putting you onto something interesting. As we discover, we share through our editorials.
Can you give us some details about the new retail space that you're working on? Our showroom will be in the heart of Boston on the corner of Boylston and Arlington streets. We will be occupying the space that was previously Shreve, Crump & Low, one of the oldest jewelry stores in the country. Our focus will be one-on-one customer service, giving the customer a full understanding of the products they are buying. We will also have a gallery space. It’s going to be a full experience.