Dani Kaye’s “Anti-fashion Fashion-girl” (Sponsored)
A women’s lifestyle boutique, North Andover’s Dani Kaye offers contemporary fashion, fine gifts and jewelry. The store, which opened in 2017, reflects owner Jaime Sloan’s unexpected journey from the Merrimack Valley to Montreal to New York and back home again.
The vision for Dani Kaye began years ago when Sloan went to McGill University in Montreal. In “La Belle Ville,” she found a way to maintain her sense of style even in the harsh Canadian winter. She learned from fashionable locals who dressed for winter in a way that seemed effortless and chic, and she began to think more about the relationship between couture and the environment. The seeds were planted.
A classically trained opera singer and performer, Sloan found her way to New York, another city of extremes. She balanced her time between rehearsals, auditions and performances at night with her day jobs in some of the most well-known department stores in the city, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. Before leaving the Big Apple, she worked on the main floor of Tiffany & Co., where she sold gold and diamond jewelry, as well as the dazzling Blue Book couture pieces favored on the red carpet by Hollywood’s elite actresses.
Intoxicated by New York’s “frenetic energy” and constant, creative pulse, Sloan would sometimes take the N train a few extra stops down from wherever she was headed, just to walk the city blocks and take it all in.
She did this while still singing opera at night. Whether performing or swept up in the whirlwind pace of city life, she needed to master the quick change and seamless transfer. She realized quickly that her fashion choices needed to be reflect her highly individualistic personality, but also be comfortable and functional. A self-proclaimed “anti-fashion fashion girl,” a light bulb went off in her mind, and the idea for Dani Kaye was born.
Sloan, with her background in fine jewelry, turned her eyes to women’s fashion and realized there was an untapped market for women such as herself. This realization happened to coincide with the rising popularity of the athleisure trend, in which stylish and elegant workout clothes provide the foundation for clothing worn in a variety of settings. It was a perfect style for goal-driven women who play multiple roles as leaders and mothers. Exemplified by brands such as Wear It To Heart and Terez, athleisure is the fastest growing segment of women’s fashion and yet, few area women’s clothing boutiques were offering it. Sloan decided that needed to change.
Fashion, to Sloan, is filled with transformative potential. It can amplify the best parts of our personalities. At the same time, “High fashion can be scary and unapproachable,” Sloan notes. This is one of the great benefits of a neighborhood boutique where cutting edge European design meets neighborly hospitality. Dani Kaye is where you’ll find the sleek, modernist home decor and tableware of Denmark’s Georg Jensen, but isn’t so stuffy that they can’t offer mother and daughter Star Wars leggings before the premiere of “The Last Jedi.” All these contrasts are connected by a sense that this is a place for an active and engaged clientele. Dani Kaye is a store for busy people.
Looking for a hostess gift? An eye-opening swap present? Dani Kaye offers a range of gifts that reflect Sloan’s love of hospitality — wine supplies, cheese boards, holiday ornaments. While others brave the mall during the holidays, Dani Kaye presents the alternative — a serene setting, friendly staff and everything you need — located on a quiet section of North Andover’s Main Street. No traffic. No chaos. No lines.
It was a long journey for Sloan to find home again, and that is ultimately what makes Dani Kaye feel special — a sanctuary in an otherwise too busy world.
North Andover, Mass.