Whether it be opening a riding stable, a café or a book store, the dream to open a business with a best friend has percolated through many people’s hearts. Luckily for Warren residents Sasha Walsh and Sasha Lyons, that dream came true.
Five weeks ago, the best friend duo opened Forage & Finery, a micro boutique in Warren Village that offers herbal skin care, as well as handmade artisan jewelry, clothing and accessories from artists all over New England.
The idea to open the boutique came to Walsh, a jeweler and metalsmith, in early 2020. Having just moved to The Valley from Boston full time in September, she was considering opening a storefront in Warren in the spring, when the pandemic struck. With the rise of the pandemic came the fall of Walsh’s retail jewelry business. In a frenzy of brainstorming new ways to keep doing what she loved, she called Sasha Lyons.
COMBINE THEIR SKILLS
“Sasha and I were talking to each other, saying, what better time to plant roots and establish ourselves in the community than now,” said Walsh. After much consideration, the two decided to combine their skills and open a boutique.
Lyons, who grew up in Warren, is an herbalist by trade. She makes herbal beauty and skin care products, including her own brand of “skin food,” a topical skin treatment. “It’s just nourishing for your skin,” said Lyons.
The boutique holds Lyon’s skin products, as well as Walsh’s jewelry, and a variety of clothes and accessories from many different small scale New England artists. “We have handmade clothing, leather goods and candles,” said Walsh. “Everything we have in our shop is handmade and one of a kind,” added Lyons.
When asked what motivated them to open the boutique, Walsh said it was about supporting artists, especially during this difficult time. “A lot of the artist community was hit really hard when COVID happened. You might have your online sales, but it’s nothing compared to the human interaction that you have with your clients,” said Walsh, who explained that customers might not learn about the price points or materials behind a given handmade item when shopping online.
“These are communities of people that we really care about,” said Walsh. “Everybody that we’re working with is super pumped.”
In addition to pleasing the artists, a niche shop like Forage & Finery can bring great pleasure to shoppers, Lyons pointed out. “You could walk into the store and really treat yourself,” said Lyons. “There’s clothing, there’s jewelry, there’s skin care. You could come in and totally, fully adorn yourself while supporting a greater cause.”
While the two owners hope their new business endeavor will bring joy to shoppers and artists alike, they also hope the store will infuse Warren Village with life. “We want to bring a new vibe to Warren!” said Lyons. “A young vibe!” added Walsh.
The high-end boutique, located at 264 Main Street in Warren, is closed on Monday, open by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday, and opens at 11 a.m. on every other day of the week.