The relaxed, breezy atmosphere of Patricia Assui Reed’s Matriark boutique in Sag Harbor, N.Y., could feel accidental—as though a stylish, jet-setting friend decided to open her Victorian home as a weekend shop filled with alluring fashion, jewelry, accessories, and home wares.
But this easygoing ambience was thoughtfully orchestrated by Assui Reed, who, before moving to the Hamptons with her family in 2018, spent her career working for (and around) high-profile global brands.
Assui Reed began her career as a buyer—at Urban Outfitters, Polo Ralph Lauren, and ABC Carpet & Home—then headed up Tiffany & Co. in her native Brazil for a time. Eventually, she returned to New York to work for the Iguatemi Group as their head of retail—during which time she brought brands including Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, and Goyard to market in Brazil, then acted as the company’s communications and international PR lead. (Now a consultant for the firm, she’s still the executive producer of Iguatemi Talks Fashion, an annual fashion conference that the company hosts in Brazil.)
Her mission for Matriark is equally well-considered. The beautiful boutique, which is tucked inside one of Sag Harbor’s picturesque Victorian homes, carries goods exclusively from female-led brands and female makers. Hence, the shop’s name, an artful misspelling of matriarch.
Assui Reed tells JCK, “I believe that when women succeed, society as a whole succeeds. From a practical standpoint, it’s very simple: Money is power, and women should have more of it. By supporting women-owned businesses, we send money to the hands of women, and we can help advance women’s equality.”
She adds that her “frustration with the lack of representation in the fashion industry’s highest ranks” was another reason to back females, as was “my excitement about the women’s movement and, as a shopper, my boredom with the sameness in all luxury department stores and online business.” Ultimately, she adds, “I was tired of complaining about the status quo, and I thought that I could use my experience in luxury retail to help advance women’s equality.”
The retailer recently bulked up the shop’s jewelry selection—which now comprises around 25% of Matriark’s total inventory—partnering with women-owned brands to carry both fine and fashion jewels. And she hopes to grow the strong-selling category even more as the business scales.
Current jewelry brands at Matriark include fine collections such as Charlie Dolly by Rebecca Romijn, Jolly Bijou, Fabiana Mortari, Haute Victoire, Olsen K, and Pamela Love, and fashion jewelry brands Lulu Frost, Gretchen Comley, Camila Sarpi, and Boutique Suarez Co.
The retailer says her time in the fashion industry was an ideal training ground for running an independent store.
“Being in luxury forces you to look at every detail and strive for flawless execution, and I will always carry that with me,” she says. “But sometimes the pursuit of perfection can be very stifling—when you are an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to try new things, and to be OK if things are not perfect.”
In particular, “I’m very grateful for having worked for Paulette Cole at ABC Carpet and Home, where I learned the beauty of improvisation and to let go of the need to plan every single thing,” she adds. “Sometimes things happen last minute, and they turn out to be the best, naturally.”
Top: Matriark in Sag Harbor, N.Y. (all photos courtesy of Matriark)
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