When Beth Petramale took over Next Boutique in Kingston's Rondout district in 2011, she felt she had some big fashion shoes to fill. "The previous owner did a great job, so I inherited an outstanding reputation and great customers—loyal, savvy fashionistas."
The art of boutiquery? "You have to stay on trend," says Petramale. "We follow all the magazines and industry news. I go to shows four times a year—this year the color is a beautiful grass green that anyone can wear. We're seeing a lot of cardigan sweaters and pleated skirts, a lot of flowy bohemian comfort clothing." Petramale says you also have to develop a sense of what each customer needs. "Some people like to shop with no input," she says. "Other people like to call ahead and have us fill a dressing room with what we think they'll love. It's so much fun when somebody tries on something new and looks in the mirror and you see her whole face light up." Nextboutique.com