Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I’m originally from Milford, CT – born, raised and lived in CT until I was married – and then we moved to Mendham in March of 2008.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Three girls – Barrett (11), Brooke (10) and Brielle (5)
Favorite things to do with your kids?
Family Friday Pizza & Movie Night – we recently finished the entire Jurassic Park saga in one weekend (that’s six movies) and cannot wait until “Dominion” comes out in June! My five-year-old has been watching people-eating dinosaurs since she was 18 months old and loves it!!! Close second: Eating caramel apples with my girls. It’s especially a struggle this time of year. We make regular trips to Wightmans.
Are you involved in a business venture or corporate world? Please Share!
I launched my company Towne Vintage last December. I’ve always been a vintage lover, I even wore a 40’s beaded gown to prom! With a corporate career in communications and marketing followed by three pregnancies and what seemed like endless breastfeeding, I lost my way with vintage and instead turned to fast-fashion and on-trend brands like so many do. I was under pressure to dress every day for work and with my ever-changing and post pregnancy body, I found comfort in the racks at Ann Taylor and H&M. My youngest is now five and while I still do a bit of corporate consulting, I am mostly a stay-at-home mom. During a trip to the Catskills in the summer of 2018, followed by some major due diligence about the fast-fashion industry, my love for vintage and second-hand clothing was reignited and I created Towne, named for the bucolic area we are fortunate enough to call home. In my travels across the East Coast and Canada in 2019, I began to curate what I think is an enviable collection of vintage and second-hand, high-end clothing. Now I have more than 4,000 pieces! My goal is to share it with quality clothes-loving girls like me—all the while inspiring that vintage and second-hand clothing is usually better quality, more sustainable and, needless to say, unique. Many of the pieces I have—especially those from the 60s and 70s are likely one-of-kind at this point. So why buy new when you can wear vintage and truly stand out? Plus, the only way to truly achieve sustainable, ethical fashion is buying vintage and secondhand (or what is known in the industry as “pre-loved” since most women wear something once or twice!) Of course, there are exceptions, but vintage and second-hand are generally the best ethical and environmental choice for our planet. So I do the thrift and consignment scouting, camp out at estate sales and map thrift trips across the tri-state area (and further!) so my clients can have the best vintage and pre-loved clothing at their fingertips. I offer my collections in themed “capsules” and include clothing, shoes, bags and other accessories.
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs what would it be?
I’ve discovered that the saying “Happiness is loving what you do” is true. I have always been passionate about clothes so now that I have decided to turn my passion into a business it has truly taken on a life of its own. When you own your own business, it’s easy to put 100 percent of your headspace into it every day. Towne has grown faster than I initially planned—in one year it’s already a multi-tier business with online, two retail venues and personal styling and consulting. My days can easily be consumed with everything from social media planning to shipping and sourcing but I have to ground myself and remember that I also have a big job as a wife and mom to three girls (and two dogs!) So, I know it sounds cliché, but I would definitely recommend that finding the right balance right from the start is essential.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I think when you meet someone who is as passionate about clothing as I am, you would assume I am a girly girl. The truth is, I am a bit of a tomboy and have always been. I’m a lifetime runner and I love my time in the studio (I don’t buy or recommend pre-loved or vintage yoga pants!). And while ruffles, puff sleeves, lace, abstract patterns and cashmere get me pumped at work, I prefer to dress simply in my everyday life. Always vintage or thrifted items, but most days you’ll find me in jeans and a vintage sweater or blouse.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
First, the town of Mendham and its beautiful surrounding towns helped inspire me to create this brand. We are so fortunate to live in a such a beautiful part of this country. I love that our family can visit a local (real) farm in the morning and that evening my husband and I can be enjoying cocktails at the Vail Mansion. We truly get to live a town and country life in Mendham and all the pieces I’ve curated for Towne are inspired by that. Finally, to start a business in the midst of COVID-19 has been interesting to say the least and I couldn’t have done it without the support of friends and family who’ve encouraged me to just go for it.
Some additional resources:
Watch “The True Cost” and “Fashion Victims” on Prime Video
Read Fashionopolis: Why What We Wear Matters and Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Be sure to follow Towne Vintage on social media, shop online, or you can visit one of Allyson’s Pop Up Shops to check out her collections in person!
Local: Twelve 03 Design, 322 Main Street, Madison, NJ
Catskills: The Velvet Maple, 22 Main Street, Narrowsburg, NY