Plum Boutique aims to bring whimsy, joy to downtown Northampton

Plum boutique owner Heidi Weeks on a recent afternoon at her shop in downtown Northampton. Weeks originally opened the store in Greenfield just as the pandemic started and recently moved south to a spot at 202 Main St. in Northampton.

Plum boutique owner Heidi Weeks on a recent afternoon at her shop in downtown Northampton. Weeks originally opened the store in Greenfield just as the pandemic started and recently moved south to a spot at 202 Main St. in Northampton. STAFF PHOTOS/DAN LITTLE

Plum boutique owner Heidi Weeks on a recent afternoon  at her shop in downtown Northampton.

Plum boutique owner Heidi Weeks on a recent afternoon at her shop in downtown Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum recently relocated its clothing, accessories and art boutique from Greenfield to downtown Northampton at a Main Street spot formerly occupied by Port.

Plum recently relocated its clothing, accessories and art boutique from Greenfield to downtown Northampton at a Main Street spot formerly occupied by Port. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Some of the clothing, accessories and art for sale at Plum, a boutique that recently relocated to downtown Northampton from Greenfield.

Some of the clothing, accessories and art for sale at Plum, a boutique that recently relocated to downtown Northampton from Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum boutique owner Heidi Weeks on a recent afternoon at her shop in downtown Northampton. Weeks originally opened the store in Greenfield just as the pandemic started, and recently moved south to  a spot at 202 Main St. in Northampton.

Plum boutique owner Heidi Weeks on a recent afternoon at her shop in downtown Northampton. Weeks originally opened the store in Greenfield just as the pandemic started, and recently moved south to a spot at 202 Main St. in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton.

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton.

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

An item for sale at Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique in Northampton.

An item for sale at Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique recently relocated from Greenfield to a downtown Northampton spot formerly occupied by Plum at  the corner of Main Street and Crafts Avenue in Northampton.

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique recently relocated from Greenfield to a downtown Northampton spot formerly occupied by Plum at the corner of Main Street and Crafts Avenue in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton.

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton.

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton.

Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Looking out through the window of Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique toward downtown Northampton during a recent afternoon.

Looking out through the window of Plum clothing, accessories and art boutique toward downtown Northampton during a recent afternoon. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

Staff Writer

Published: 06-05-2024 2:30 PM

Modified: 06-05-2024 5:45 PM


NORTHAMPTON — Several years ago, Heidi Weeks made the decision go into business with her business partner Tim Fisk, who runs Salon Herdis in Northampton. The two had the idea of opening up a boutique shop in Greenfield, where Weeks was living.

“Between the two of us, his business sense and my connections with the town, we found a perfect spot on Main Street in Greenfield. And we put it all together in a matter of months,” Weeks said. “We signed our lease, and two weeks later, everything shut down.”

Weeks had the misfortune of opening her new store, Plum, just before the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive disruption across the entire retail economy. But, Weeks said, she learned to make the best of her situation.

“I like to say we had the longest, softest opening in the world. It gave me time to figure out how to make it happen,” Weeks said. “I had to source merchandise in a very unusual way, because I couldn’t go to any trade shows. But I did have 15 years of retail in my background working for the Artisan Gallery in downtown Northampton. I had a really big Rolodex of brands and labels and ideas that I wanted to bring in. So because of my history and my background, I could source that stuff on the internet.”

After four years in Greenfield, Weeks has now relocated her boutique shop to Northampton’s Main Street, just across from city hall. Walking inside, the boutique features various women’s clothing and accessories, under a lifestyle brand that Weeks describes as being “full of whimsy and joy, and brings happiness.”

French and Italian music plays throughout the store as shelves display unique items like scented candles from Minneapolis and handbags made in India out of recycled materials, with the name of the person who stitched the bag written inside.

Weeks said that when the store’s current space became available, the opportunity to move to downtown Northampton was simply too great to pass up. The 202 Main St. address had formerly been occupied by Port, another clothing store.

“I did create a really amazing group of core customers in Greenfield. I want to give them a lot of credit because during the pandemic and through those few years, it was really awesome to get connected with that community and be part of that community,” Weeks said.

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“I just feel like there’s a more vibrant community down here. More of my customers are down here.”

Weeks also offers individual services for clients, such as meeting them at their home to edit their wardrobe, putting together outfits out of existing clothes and advising what to keep and what to toss out. She also offers to help replace items with personal shopping and styling, with customers offered 20% off store purchases through the services.

“I have one client that I’ve known her for over 10 years. I know her life and I know her lifestyle,” Weeks said. “So I’m able to go in and say to her, ‘no, I don’t think you’ll wear that again.’”

Overall, Weeks says she’s happy to be now a part of the downtown Northampton business scene, something she says plays a crucial role in the culture of the city.

“I feel like every small business represents downtown Northampton. And when you walk into a small business, you know, you’re going to ask the person that’s working there: ‘Where do I get the best coffee? Where do you like to eat? Where do you like to shop? What do you like to do?’ ” Weeks said.

“And you’re gonna get an authentic answer from someone who loves their town, their city.”

Alexander MacDougall can be reached at amacdougall@gazettenet.com.