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Trendzʽingʼ in the right direction for 2017

By Rod Lee

It is hard to imagine 2017 starting much better than it has, business-wise, for Tracy DeRienzo of Trendz Consignment Boutique on Providence Road in Northbridge.

There is her second-place showing to New To You in Holden for “Best Clothing” and “Best Consignment” in the T&G’s annual contest; this, coupled with a first as “Best Consignment Boutique” in the recent Readers Choice Awards.

“It’s an honor even to be a finalist” in those kind of customer-appreciation competitions, Ms. DeRienzo said.

Take away a gas leak in front of her store that curtailed foot traffic for about two weeks and there is still more to celebrate for a shop that specializes in clothing for women and teens, jewelry, shoes, pocketbooks and other accessories.

Also, coinciding with “Shop Small” the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Ms DiRienzo launched a “pop-up” store next to Trendz’s main space. The purpose, she said, is to offer “up-cycle furniture and home décor items.” A sign of continued growth, for sure.

That’s not all. On New Year’s Eve Ms. DiRienzo accepted a proposal of marriage from beau Dennis Cox, who made the request—on his knees, away from the crowd--at halftime of the New England Patriots game at Gillette Stadium. She didn’t see it coming. “I was saying to him let’s go, the game’s starting. Everyone knew but me!” she said.

Katalina’s in January mode. Rest assured that Kathy Tonry, the imaginative owner of Katalina’s Boutique in Northbridge (1682 Providence Rd., “all-brand-new clothing”), will always be looking ahead. In an effort to guarantee that sales will not take a hit during the month of January, Ms. Tonry has scheduled a “Winter Clearance Sale” for the 27th and 28th; “up to 70 percent off,” she said. She is also inviting prospective hostesses to book a boutique party. A pro at organizing these events, she says bookings for January, February or March will mean 20 percent off everything in the store for those who attend and 10 percent off plus $50 in “Katalina’s cash” for the hostess… Sara Robinson, AKA “The Cupcake Girl” (336 North Main St., Uxbridge) is pointing toward the second anniversary of her store, in May, with the delicacies upon which she staked her reputation but also, now, “ready-to-go meals. We started with chicken pot pie,” she said. Yum!... Pat DeVries of Chevere, The Cupcake Girl’s neighbor at the same address, describes the holiday season as “fabulous” at a store that bills itself as “more than just beads.” Ms. DeVries’ focus in the first weeks of January is on scheduling a new slate of jewelry-making classes… December sales at Bernat Antiques, 89 Elmdale Rd. in Uxbridge, were “fantastic” according to Corrine Taylor (co-owner with her husband Rick) and the Saturday after Thanksgiving “was our best ever”—aided in large part by Foxy Travelers’ stop at Bernat on their Shop Small tour of area stores… Water damage knocked The Sassy Foxx, 19 Depot St. in Uxbridge, out of business for about three months, from late summer until December 3rd, but “a great month” after that has Owner Michele Provencal in good spirits as she starts the new year… “Our best Christmas ever, up 205%, I couldn’t be happier” is Laine Thibault’s take on patronage of her Country Bumpkins shop, 2A Maple St. in Mendon. Country Bumpkins will be closed until about the third week of January and then reopening in anticipation of its “Friendship Weekend” (February 11-12) leading up to Valentine’s Day…It was a personal treat as “designated Christmas shopping purchaser” this year to acquire a lovely set of china (bowls, small plates, teacups), a collectible salt-and-pepper shaker and a Patriots placard at Rita’s (“3 stores in one,” 6 S. Main St., Uxbridge) for family members; that Owner Pat Benoit is always most engaging as a conversationalist makes the experience that much more pleasurable…

Crosstown Currents news? Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.