Beth Buccini, Owner and Founder of Kirna Zabete
477 Broome St., NY, NY, ph. (212) 941-9656
How many years have you been in business in NYC:
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I moved to NYC right after I graduated college and worked in magazines. Just before I opened Kirna Zabete, I was the Fashion Editor of New York Magazine. It was a great learning experience, in that it exposed me to insight into the industry like who bought what where, and how they bought it. It was basically pre-internet time, so we tried to credit everything we photographed or wrote about to a New York City store. I kept covering all these amazing designers that had no retail presence in New York and that led me to believe that shopping in New York wasn’t good enough. So I opened the store!
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
My mission has been the same for the last 17+ years: to offer the best edit of the most important designers of today and tomorrow in a warm, welcoming, and inspiring environment.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
The Kirna Zabete team and I have worked very hard to build a loyal clientele and deliver an exceptional shopping experience. In this day and age, I hope people will still cherish independent businesses that offer not only an excellently curated edit of merchandise for purchase but also a personable experience that they can’t find elsewhere.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
Aside from offering a special edit of merchandise to our customers, we expose them to new designers and new trends that they may never choose to embrace on their own. We have also established a confidence-boosting, yet equally honest environment, where our clientele can be sure that they will walk out of the store with items that make sense for their taste and their lifestyle.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love seeing first hand how full circle the fashion industry, and therefore, my job is. From the fashion show to the showroom to the sales floor to a woman’s closet, I get to experience and affect each step. And of course, it is thrilling to see how happy a great outfit, bag, shoe, etc., can make a woman feel.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
Uptown, JG Melons for burgers and beer and in Soho, Birdbath for incredible chocolate chip cookies, and Min for a personalized apothecary experience.
How do you benefit mamas?
I have four children so if there is one thing I can offer it’s definitely experience in spades! I’ve been through all the life stages leading up to becoming a mommy: single, dating, engaged, married, pregnant, exhausted and unattractive post birth, and back to fighting weight. I understand all the wardrobe needs involved in each stage, and hope that Kirna Zabete can help women find real solutions for feeling great about themselves at every stage without the drama of “I have nothing to wear!”
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
I received an email out of the blue one day from one of our customers that said “I just wanted to say what a meaningful part of my life you and your store have been over the years,” and this sentiment practically made my year because this kind of thing is exactly what I set out to achieve when I started the business.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
I love Rosie Assoulin. I think she is one of the most talented designers in New York City and after just a short time in the industry she is already influencing countless others. Plus, she and her husband are such lovely, family-oriented people with great senses of humor and adventure. And of course, they make gorgeous clothes. I also love Brian Bolke from Forty-Five Ten and commend him for all that he is doing to grow his business.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice. The fashion industry has a bad reputation for a “mean girls” type attitude, which I wholeheartedly reject. The majority of us are helping women to look their best and feel great about themselves. We should all be working together to empower one another.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best timesaving trick?
I am highly organized and I ruthlessly schedule my time. I color code my calendar to correspond with each of my four children’s schedules, work appointments, and personal events. Having the visual cue for what I need to be doing and where I need to be going helps keep me on track