By AML Publisher
Photography courtesy of Courtney Apple Photography
Whitney Ayerle Bachrach thought the Main Line boutique scene was missing a pivotal player in the market—fashion forward accessories that don’t break the bank. So, the 27-year-old Ambler native and Germantown Academy grad, who recently moved back to her hometown after years in Egypt with her husband Tom, opened Kat Bradley on September 1st in Eagle Village Shops.
Bachrach utilized her Ivy league education (boasting a dual degree of economics and history from Cornell) to shape a retail business model that would work in a challenged economy. The spacious two levels of 1,200 square feet in the shop, located directly behind georges’ restaurant, are chocked full of fashion solutions—such as Hollywood fashion tape—and a myriad of accessories including funky earrings, belts, scarves, evening clutches, bracelets, bold rings and more.
Bachrach’s older sister, Liz Ayerle, is well known for her success with her three-year old boutique that caters to plus-size fashion, Fresh Ayer. Formerly on the corner of North Wayne and Lancaster Avenues in the heart of downtown Wayne, Fresh Ayer moved into a new space just around the corner from Kat Bradley in early October—also in Eagle Village Shops. “We had really grown out of that space and so many of my out of town customers had trouble navigating Wayne. This space is interesting because it allows us to have more of a boutique feeling,” explained Ayerle.
As for the name, it also has family roots as the sisters’ maternal grandmother, Delton Bradley, was a fashionable woman who influenced both Liz and Whitney’s sense of style growing up. ‘Kat’ is the first name of Whitney’s husband’s maternal grandmother. “It’s sort of this fictional person—we can build a lot around with and it has meaning, its just fabulous,” said Ayerle.
The sisters, new retail neighbors, and budding Main Line entrepreneurs, do the buying for Kat Bradley together. “Kat Bradley is an expansion of Fresh Ayer…it just happened organically,” explained Ayerle.
One-on-One with Kat Bradley Owner Whitney Ayerle Bachrach
AroundMainLine.com: Where did the concept of Kat Bradley begin?
Whitney Bachrach: It all started with Liz’s success with Fresh Ayer and carrying affordable accessories in the shop. Liz had gotten such a great reaction from women who were asking her to carry additional lines and she had exhausted what she could do from her space and the apparel she carried so this seemed like the perfect fit. So, we decided to open up a store entirely dedicated to the idea of fashion forward, high quality and affordable accessories.
AML: What have been the big sellers so far?
WB: Nakamol is one of most popular designers so far. She does unusual, intricate stone floral designs and bold necklaces and rings. She has strong statement pieces, right on trend, but her price points are great-her line runs between $50 and $100, approximately. Also, our funky scarves from a company called Zazou who uses different jacquards and brocades and have a really beautiful line.
AML: I heard scarves for European women are now year round accessories.
WB: Absolutely, scarves are season-less now and they come in different weights and textures so women should not be afraid to wear them as an accessory twelve months out of the year.
AML: Bold necklaces are still in, right?
WB: I feel like they are always in, but yes they are on trend for this fall.
AML: I really like the feel of the store—its fashion forward, funky, young and hip to me! There really is no other accessory boutique on the Main Line with this selection and great price points.
WB: Definitely not. And that is something I researched and did not find it anywhere. With this economy, women are not necessarily investing in entirely new, seasonal wardrobes but they still want to be on trend and have something new to wear without breaking the bank. You can pick up a piece or two in here and update your look-very affordably.
AML: Looking ahead to holiday shopping and more fall accessories, what’s coming in during the next few weeks
WB: We have a new line called Hobo Bags. They popularized the original slouchy bag look which is another look that is really strong for this fall. And we are getting in a designer line of handbags called Dana Herbert, which are a little more casual, cloth bags with fun patterns and florals.
AML: I know you recently attended the New York accessories show at The Javits Center with Liz. What was hot on the floor there?
WB: In a lot of the smaller bags and clutches, metallics and golds were prevalent. Snake skins and modified animal prints and the slouchy bag, again we saw a lot of. Long gold necklaces are still in-either wearing one very linear gold accessory or wrapping it several times for a chunkier, layered look.
AML: It is interesting because with the Cleopatra exhibit downtown, I have heard local women are channeling their ‘inner Queen of the Nile’ with accessories that have an Egyptian influence. I noticed the bold snake cuffs you have and other bolder gold pieces that fit in with that style.
WB: Exactly, after years of silver tones being so prevalent the dramatic gold jewelry is back. Our bold cuffs have done very well.
AML: I like that you are open till 6pm, six days a week-perfect for working women.
WB: We will be open on Sundays in November too so perfect for holiday shopping. Everyone talks about holiday when they come in because we are priced so well for gifts.
Kat Bradley is located at Eagle Village Shops, 503 W. Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, PA and open Monday through Saturday 10-6pm in Eagle Village Shops. Call 610-726-1222. Find them on Facebook: Kat Bradley Accessories. Follow Kat Bradley on Twitter: KatBradleyShop