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A local link among the national chains

Posted by Erica Noonan, Globe West September 7, 2007 03:47 PM

(Globe staff photo)


A stone's throw from the state's first Nordstrom department store is Stil, the only local business to be awarded a spot in the new Natick Collection expansion.

Today was the grand opening of her 1,000-square-foot boutique (named after the Scandinavian word for ``style') and founder/owner Betty Riaz was behind the counter personally helping shoppers choose funky black cocktail dresses and chunky beaded necklaces.

``I'm so excited to be here,'' said Riaz. ``This store is the epitome of what I wanted my store, my brand to be.''

She has opened shops on Newbury Street and at the Chestnut Hill Mall -- but the Natick store has been a real labor of love, she said. With an emphasis on labor.

All her corporate neighbors have teams of high-powered leasing agents, brand managers and real estate attorneys to get their stores up-and running.

Betty, has, well, Betty.

She did it all -- choosing this spot -- nestled behind the Concierge Desk in the busiest crossing in the new wing -- and taking care of all the new-store details personally. She's not too worried about the internationally-known brands, like Michael Kors to her right, and Betsey Johnson to her left.

Since she opened the door at 9 a.m. more than 100 people have come by, about half had shopped in her Newton or Boston stores before, the other half were brand-new customers.

``It's nice to be able to finally show people who don't make it into Boston who were are,'' Riaz said.

-- Erica Noonan

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