The Winding Story Behind Princeton's Hedy Shepard Ltd
The story of Hedy Shepard Ltd is an interesting one. The original location opened in Yardley, PA in the early 80s. It was Lynn Rabinowitz’s favorite boutique. Lynn had a daughter named Rachel, who wound up getting a job there.
Since she was a kid, Rachel loved fashion. She loved (and still loves) the daily adventure of never looking like anyone else. Her style is hers.
But Back to the Hedy Shepard Ltd Story
A few years after Rachel got the job, Hedy opened its second location, here in Princeton. Soon the two shops were merged into just the Princeton location. And then something interesting happened. Hedy offered to sell the business to Rachel.
With the proverbial stars effectively aligning, Rachel went all-in and bought Hedy Shepard Ltd with a financially savvy partner, one Lynn Rabinowitz.
Having just recently celebrated their 18th year in Princeton, the mother-daughter duo has built Hedy into a chic upscale boutique that features lifestyle dressing for the fashion-conscious woman. But beyond that, they’ve built remarkably personal, almost familial relationships with their clientele.
“We offer a service that goes above and beyond what most people expect when they’re shopping for clothing,” says Rachel. “They rely on us to pick great quality, unique clothing that you won't see anywhere else.”
As for how mom and daughter work (because, let’s be honest, most adult children would bristle at the idea of going into business with a parent), it’s a well-balanced match. Rachel handles the client experience: everything a customer sees, feels and tries the moment they walk in the door. Lynn runs the business side of things which, as Rachel noted in a 2017 CentralJersey.com article, has kept the business going: “We’ve lasted because of my mom’s business brains.”
Two Buying Perspectives
Interestingly though, Rachel and Lynn do the buying together.
“It may look like mother-daughter fun—and it certainly is,” says Rachel. “But buying together makes business sense. We bring two sets of eyes, two styles and two perspectives that help us cater to our customer whose age can range from 40 to 80.”
Rachel and Lynn have navigated the seemingly ever-changing world of boutique fashion.
“Plenty has changed over the years,” says Rachel. “We’re always examining who our customers are, their nuances and what they’re buying. Trends change, economics change, lifestyles change. All of that impacts how we buy for the store. Our core customer hasn’t changed, but their needs are always changing. So it’s our responsibility to recognize these things almost before they’re even noticeable.”
That’s something any business owner can relate to.
Learn more about Hedy Shepard Ltd at hedyshepardltd.com.