A step into Brightside Boutique might have you charmed with local Baltimore-isms, gifts with attitude and quality clothing.
It was named one of Business Insider’s “50 Coolest New Businesses in America” after its first location opened in January 2012.
“There’s something for mom, for her daughter, for her husband. That’s what makes the whole experience so special,” says owner Christie Vasquez. “We’re always like, ‘Why take life so seriously? Laugh a little bit.’ We all just want to laugh.”
Since opening her original shop in Federal Hill, Vasquez has expanded Brightside’s footprint to include locations in Fells Point, Hampden, Towson and Annapolis.
On Friday, June 10, her brand will reach a new milestone.
Its second location, in Fells Point, is relocating to a 1,000-square-foot space at 830 Aliceanna St., in Harbor East, with a soft opening on Friday and a grand opening on Saturday, June 11.
The new space offers an opportunity to be in Baltimore’s central clothing boutique, she explains.
“I felt like on a clothing boutique standpoint, that is one of the most desirable places to be in…. Women are taking day trips down to Harbor East. They’re getting lunch, and they’re shopping throughout that district for clothing in particular,” Vasquez says.
Being among major retailers in the clothing industry, such as Freepeople, Lululemon and South Moon Under, makes more sense for a store of this style than Fells Point, she adds.
But as a Fells Point resident herself for eight years before moving to White Marsh, Vasquez says she has something special in mind for the old space.
“I’ve been there for like almost like a decade now, and I’ve really gotten to know that neighborhood extremely well,” she says. “I feel like at this point I’m really finally ready to hone in and give that customer what I feel like they want.”
Best sellers at the Fells Point store were always from Brightside’s own product line—the gifts, especially the ones with local wit and flare, that connected with people.
A new concept focusing on these products will open in the Fells Point space by late summer or fall.
Stay tuned for updates on both stores at shopbrightside.com. The Harbor East store joins several other new additions to the Harbor East corridor, including Kneads Bakeshop, a renovated movie theater and Interior Define.