Vivian's Boutique vibrant with style

Lafayette. Longtime storeowner brings her shop to Lafayette.

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  • PHOTOS BY LAURIE GORDONVivian Hill, the owner of Vivian's Boutique

  • Around Vivian's Boutique, new at the Shoppes at Lafayette

  • Around Vivian's Boutique, new at the Shoppes at Lafayette

The name, Vivian, a cognate of the French word vivien and the Latin word vivianus, both of which mean alive. Alive is just what Vivian Hill and her store, Vivian's Boutique, are all about: being vibrant with color, unique fabrics, specially sourced fabrics and rarely seen designs. Located within the Shoppes at Lafayette, Vivian's opened on April 20th at the insistence of long-time customers who missed her vision for style.

In the 90s, Hill had a store in Sussex and then moved to Newton in 2002 where her boutique became a place Sussex County residents and out-of-towners made a go-to fashion destination. In 2008, she was forced to close when smoke from a neighboring building destroyed her shop.

“It was very upsetting,” she said. “I was forced to close because of all of the smoke damage from the furnace in the next building.”

In the years that followed, Hill took solstice working at a green house.

“I liked it because I could still work with color,” she said.

But something was missing. Hill missed owning a boutique and her long-time customers let her know how much they missed it, too.

“Women would come up to me and say, 'look, I'm wearing a vintage Vivian,' showing me a piece she'd purchased from my Newton store,” Hill said.

Just as it was the urging of friends who prompted her to first open that store in Sussex, it was friends and customers that led her to The Shoppes at Lafayette.

“It's like going on vacation when you come here,” she said. “You come down from the parking lot and it's like you're in a beautiful park.”

The setting and the availability of a store suited to her needs made bringing back Vivian's a no-brainer.

Hill has a sixth sense for fashion and loves what she does. Her store is filled with clothing pieces from all over the world, and they are of a classy chic style not seen elsewhere. She has bags and accessories and an eye for putting outfits together. Customers tell her of the compliments they've received and are often asked where they got that blouse, that hat or that bag.

Among the items in her store are hand-sewn dresses from Arlington, Virginia, hand-cut linen clothing from Lithuania, and pieces from Greece. She has denim from Los Angeles and bags made from paper that are stretched and tanned like leather yet are light, fashion-forward and even cleanable. Her hats and bright bags are Fair Trade imported from Madagascar. Created by an artist from Rhode Island, Vivian's photo bags are very popular and encapsulate art in a wearable form.

“I love fabric and if I see something that doesn't look good on you, I'll tell you,” she said. “Clothing should look good on you and make you feel good. It's not just to fill your closet and be 'closet décor.'”

Customers range in age from 12 to 80, and Vivian's has styles to suit every fashion taste.

“I've sent women off to river cruises and weddings with the perfect outfit and hat and I've helped women find great jeans and a top just because,” she said.

Styles change with the season and every week or two, new items come in to add to Hill's collections. She carries sizes 2 to 16 and fun and stylish accoutrements to go with any outfit.

Hill's focus is to let customers relax and enjoy finding pieces that are not stocked at the mall but hand-selected. These include: beautiful scarves and handbags, denim, loungewear, coats, dresses and more. Truly something for everyone.

When she's not at what she refers to as her “sweet little boutique,” Hill is busy being a grandma to four grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 9.

Hill is truly Vivian Vibrant when it comes to the kindness and sincerity with which she treats her customers. She really knows her products, is extremely discerning with what she brings in and is happy to help or let customers browse.

Vivian's is located within the Shoppes at Lafayette at 75 Route 15 South. For further information, call 973-875-6549 or visit vivians_asweetlittleboutique on Instagram.

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