Jade blends harmony, balance and health in activewear
Jade -- the new shop for elegant activewear in the Goodwives Shopping Center -- already has run its sprints and warm-ups.
Before settling into their new home two weeks ago, the owners, two Wilton moms with a wealth of professional expertise, spent two years running a traveling trunk show around the region.
"We grew our business, grew our client list," said Lindsay Prospect, a health-care consultant who holds an MBA and left the business world to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom.
Prospect and her partner, Maxine Berg, who was a Manhattan lawyer before transitioning to stay-at-home mom, watched the evolution of women wearing workout clothes post-gym, and saw an opportunity to offer options.
"We met on the tennis courts," Prospect said. After raising their kids, she said, "We felt like we were ready to do something, (but) neither one of us wanted to get back into our high-stress jobs.
"We both noticed women were going around in their yoga pants all day long, and we thought, `Wouldn't that be a nice business?' "
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Wanting to do it right, Berg and Prospect began their journey with a relevant business course in New York City, where they were able to learn many of the intricacies of retail from those who had gone before them.
But while yoga pants can be found in a lot of places, the kind of style and quality Jade represents offers something a bit beyond the ordinary.
"Jade is completely unique on a number of levels," Berg said. "We carry a variety of collections of fitness wear, lifestyle apparel, handbags, accessories and jewelry that no other boutique in Connecticut carries."
While the two are committed to supporting the vendors they've chosen, she said they are also constantly looking out for new and interesting items they feel will work well for their clientele.
"I'm not used to buying boutique sort of workout clothes, (but) the quality's really nice," said Annie Roberts, of Darien. "Both the owners are really helpful, and it's really convenient because it's right next to the Flair Fitness gym."
In fact, stemming from a relationship developed by way of a trunk show, Jade was invited to open in a retail space that connects directly, by way of an adjoining door, to the new Flair Fitness Studio in Goodwives.
"She found this space and it all kind of came together," Prospect said of Flair co-owner Amy Shelton.
"When we were searching for locations, we focused on Darien and New Canaan because both towns were without a boutique like ours," Berg said. "Both towns are chock-full of fashionable people who lead active, healthy lifestyles -- our clients.
"Goodwives really is an ideal location for us -- busy, centrally located in Darien, with plenty of parking," she said. "Of course, being next-door neighbors with a very active fitness studio is a key ingredient to success, too."
"I run my own business," said Roberts, an architect. "They also have another line that is their lifestyle line, which is just comfortable clothes that you wear every day."
Prospect said their line has evolved to being about half lifestyle wear at this point. Clients, she said, "want to keep their yoga pants and tops on, but they want to throw something on to look a little bit better," such as a light top or accessory.
"We have many clients who wear our lifestyle pieces, like wraps, cardigans and tops, to work," Berg said. "Certainly those who don't work outside the home can wear any of their Jade all day.
"We hear from so many of our clients that they `live' in our clothes," she said. "That's what we like to hear."
"In the Asian culture, Jade means harmony, balance and health," Prospect said, which is why it became the perfect name for their shop.
Jade, 25 Old Kings Highway North, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For information, call 203-202-2522 or visit www.jadeactive.com.